Many schools and colleges require that students receive certain vaccinations and immunizations, including meningitis and pertussis (whooping cough) before beginning classes. At Community Access Network, you can count on us for your child’s school physicals and immunizations, as well as any education or support you need to make the right decision for your child and their health. In the state of Virginia, the following immunizations are required, unless a specific exemption form is filled:
- Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTap, DTP or Tdap) – This vaccine requires a minimum of 4 doses. A child must have at least one dose of DTap or DTP on or after their fourth birthday. A booster dose of Tdap is required for all children entering the 6th grade.
- Haemophilus Infuenzae Type B (Hib) Vaccine – This vaccine is only required for children up to 60 months of age and consists of either 2 or 3 doses (depending on the manufacturer). Unvaccinated children between ages 15 and 60 months are only required to have one dose.
- Hepatitis B Vaccine – A complete series of 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine is required for all children. However, the FDA has approved a 2 dose schedule that is only for adolescents 11-15 years of age and only when the Merck Brand (RECOMBIVAX HB) adult formulation vaccine is used. If the 2 dose vaccine is used, it has to be clearly noted on school forms.
- Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) – A complete series of 3 doses of HPV vaccine is required for all females before they enter into the 6th grade. Parents or guardians of the child may elect that the child not receive this vaccine.
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine – A minimum of 2 measles, 2 mumps and 1 rubella vaccine is required. The first dose must be administered at age 12 months or older. The second dose must be administered prior to kindergarten.
- Pneumococcal (PCV) Vaccine – This vaccine is only for children less than 60 months of age. One to four doses are required and the number of doses depend on the age of the child when the first dose is administered.
- Polio Vaccine – A minimum of four doses of the polio vaccine is required and one dose must be administered on or after the child’s fourth birthday.
- Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine – All children ages 12 months or older are required to have the chickenpox vaccine. A second dose must be administered prior to entering kindergarten.
Under state law, students may be exempt from immunizations or vaccinations of the parent or guardian submits a notarized Certificate of Religious Exemption (Form CRE 1) to the school official, or if the school receives written certification from a physician, registered nurse or a local health department that one or more of the required immunizations may be detrimental to a student’s health.
Also under state law, if an outbreak or potential epidemic occurs, or an epidemic of a vaccine-preventable disease in a public or private school, the health commissioner has the authority to require that students who were not immunized against the disease be excluded from school.
Students may also be exempt from specific vaccines if it can be determined that the student has the appropriate antibodies already in place.
Finally, because HPV is not communicable in a school setting, a parent or a guardian may elect for the student to not receive the HPV vaccine.