School and Pre-Kindergarten (Child Care) Immunization Information
When groups of children come together, the opportunity for disease to spread is increased. School and childcare staff play an important role in assuring safe and healthy futures for California youth by ensuring that children in attendance are as fully immunized as possible.
Under the California Health and Safety Code, Sections 120325-120375:children in California are required to receive certain immunizations in order to attend public and private elementary and secondary schools, child care centers, family day care homes, nursery schools, day nurseries and developmental centers. Schools, and pre-kindergarten facilities are required to enforce immunization requirements, maintain immunization records of all children enrolled, and submit reports to their local health departments.
California school immunization regulations are described in California Code of Regulations Title 17, Division 1, Chapter 4.
Immunization Requirements for Child Care and School (K-12)
For information about the required number of doses and ages that vaccines must be given, review the Guide to Immunizations Required for Child Care | Spanish and the Guide to Immunizations Required for TK/K-12 | Spanish
The Shots for School website has information about the immunizations required for school and child care entry in California. This website is maintained by the California Department of Public Health Immunization Branch. Please visit this website often, as school and pre-kindergarten staff can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions and Updated Forms, Guides and Materials.
New for 2022: Free online training for schools on immunization requirements, reviewing student records, and reporting student immunization statuses.
SFDPH School Immunizations Reporting Training for San Francisco Childcare and Preschools (1/12/2022) [PDF]
The State provides annual reports of the immunization rates at child care centers and schools. You may find this information for a specific school at:
- How Well-Vaccinated Is Your Child’s Child Care/Preschool Facility?
- How Well-Vaccinated Is Your Child’s Kindergarten?
- How Well-Vaccinated Is Your Child’s 7th Grade?
Parents must present their child’s Immunization Record to school and child care providers as proof of immunization. Child care and school staff should copy the full date of each shot onto the California Pre-Kindergarten and School Immunization Record, also known as Blue Card (BC). Printing out the BC on blue colored paper is not required. To order hard copies of the BC and other immunization materials click here. It is the responsibility of school and child care providers to follow up regularly until all shots have been completed and each child is up-to-date.
Starting January 1, 2021, all new medical exemptions for school and child care entry must be issued through CAIR-ME. Medical exemptions can only be issued by MDs or DOs licensed in California and must meet applicable Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) criteria. School and childcare facilities can log into CAIR-ME to confirm that the medical exemption is listed for their school or child care facility. For more information, see Medical Exemption FAQs.
San Francisco Immunization Programs for Children
Does your child need to catch up on required school immunizations? If you don’t have a primary care provider, please see the list of options below.
|San Francisco Health Network (SFHN)||Various Locations||(415) 682-1740||Accepts MediCal, the uninsured and the major medical insurances except Kaiser. No one turned away for lack of funds.||Varies by location, please inquire with the new patient appointment line: (415) 682-1740|
|Northeast Medical Services (NEMS)||Various Locations||(415) 391-9686||Accepts MediCal, the uninsured and the major medical insurances except Kaiser. No one turned away for lack of funds.||Cantonese, English, Mandarin and Vietnamese. Limited Spanish; other languages via phone interpreter|
|Mission Neighborhood Health Center (MNHC)||240 Shotwell St|
4434 Mission St
|Shotwell Clinic: (415) 552-3870|
Excelsior Clinic: (415) 452-9307
|Accepts MediCal, the uninsured and the major medical insurances except Kaiser. No one turned away for lack of funds||Spanish|
|St. Anthony Medical Clinic||150 Golden Gate Ave||(415) 241-8320||Accepts MediCal and the uninsured||Chinese, English, Laotian, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese|
|Adult Immunization and Travel Clinic (AITC)||101 Grove Street, Room 102||(415) 554-2625|
schedule online at www.sfcdcp.org/aitc/
|Back-to-school Tdap, MMR, Varicella vaccines, and Flu vaccines $0-26 (pay what you can)||Phone interpreter available|
Additional immunization programs for children and resources for children and families:
Tuberculosis Screening Requirements for San Francisco Schools
Guidelines for tuberculosis screening requirements in California are determined by each County. The San Francisco Department of Public Health strongly recommends a medical provider’s risk assessment for TB infection, as the universal screening requirement for school entry. For more information, review the San Francisco Policy for Tuberculosis Screening Requirement at Preschool and TK/k-12 School Entry.