Immunization Information for 2017-18

Posted 05/08/2017

K – 12th Grade School Required Immunizations – 2017-18 School Year

Dear parents and guardians of students in Colorado kindergarten – 12th-grade schools:

  • Colorado law requires students who attend a public, private or parochial kindergarten – 12th grade school to be vaccinated against many of the diseases vaccines can prevent. Your student must be vaccinated against:

    o diphtheria, tetanus & pertussis (DTaP, DT, DTP, Tdap)) o hepatitis B (HepB)
    o polio (IPV) o varicella (chickenpox) o measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

    Vaccines are recommended for hepatitis A, influenza, meningococcal disease and human papillomavirus, but are not required.

  • Colorado rule requires that students entering kindergarten receive their final doses of DTaP, IPV, MMR and Varicella. Students must receive 1 dose of Tdap vaccine for 6th-grade entry, even if they are under 11 years of age.
  • The number, timing and spacing of the required vaccine doses is set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). You can view parent-friendly versions of the current ACIP vaccine schedules for children 0 – 6 years of age at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf and preteens/teens 7 – 18 years of age at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/who/teens/downloads/parent-version-schedule-7-18yrs.pdf.
  • Please take your student’s updated vaccine record to school every time he or she receives a vaccine.
  • If your student cannot get vaccines because of medical reasons, you must submit an official Immunization Medical Exemption Form to your school, signed by a health care provider licensed to give vaccines. You can get the form at www.colorado.gov/vaccineexemption.
  • If you choose not to get your student vaccinated according to the current ACIP schedule, you must submit an official Immunization Non-Medical Exemption Form (Religious or Personal Belief) to your school. This form must be submitted every year. You can either submit the official form online for inclusion in the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS) or provide a paper copy to your child’s school. If you choose to include your student’s information in CIIS, you may opt your student out of CIIS at any time. Your student’s school may ask you to also provide them with a paper copy if you submit online. You can get online and downloadable versions of the form at www.colorado.gov/vaccineexemption.
  • Some parents, especially those with students who have weakened immune systems, may want to know which schools have the highest percentage of vaccinated children. Schools must report vaccination and exemption numbers (but not student names or birth dates) to the state health department by December 1 every year. Vaccination and exemption rates will be posted on the state health department website beginning in Spring 2017.
  • You may want to talk to a healthcare provider licensed to give vaccines or a local public health agency (LPHA) about which vaccines your student needs or if you have questions. You can read about the safety and importance of vaccines at www.ImmunizeForGood.com and www.colorado.gov/cdphe/immunization-education.
  • If you need help finding a healthcare provider, or finding free or low-cost vaccines, contact your LPHA, or call the state health department’s Family Health Line at 1-303-692-2229 or 1-800-688-7777. You can find your LPHA at www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/find-your-local-public-health-agency.
  • Please share Page 2 of this letter with your student’s healthcare provider as it provides helpful information about vaccines required for school entry per Colorado law.

    Sincerely,
    Colorado Immunization Branch | Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment

    303-692-2700 | cdphe.dcdimmunization@state.co.us

    4300 Cherry Creek Drive S., Denver, CO 80246-1530 P 303-692-2000 www.colorado.gov/cdphe John W. Hickenlooper, Governor | Larry Wolk, MD, MSPH, Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer

Dedicated to protecting and improving the health and environment of the people of Colorado

Dear Colorado healthcare provider:

Colorado School Entry Immunization Law (25-4-901 et seq, C.R.S) and Colorado Board of Health rule (6 CCR 1009-2) require students who attend a public, private or parochial K – 12 school, licensed child care, preschool or Head Start program to be vaccinated against many of the diseases vaccines can prevent. Students must be vaccinated against:

  • diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DT aP , DT , DTP , Tdap),
  • polio (IPV),
  • measles, mumps, rubella (MMR),
  • hepatitis B (HepB),
  • haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib),
  • pneumococcal (PCV13), and
  • varicella (chickenpox).

    The number, timing and spacing of the required vaccine doses is set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). To be considered valid, a dose of vaccine must meet both the minimum age and minimum intervals as defined by ACIP. You can view the current ACIP vaccine schedule for persons 0 – 18 yrs of age at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf. Vaccines are recommended for rotavirus, hepatitis A, influenza, meningococcal disease and human papillomavirus, but are not required.

    Colorado schools are required to review immunization records for school entry and can only accept valid doses of vaccine. Your patients may receive notification of noncompliance if a dose of vaccine does not meet the minimum age or minimum interval requirements per the ACIP schedule. There are three ways a school/student can meet the compliance requirements established by Colorado law:

  • A student is considered fully immunized if he or she has received all doses of school-required vaccines according to the current ACIP schedule. Note: students are required to receive their final doses of DTaP, IPV, MMR and Varicella by kindergarten entry and their Tdap by 6th grade entry, even if the student is 10 years of age.
  • A student is in the process of getting up-to-date on required vaccines and has a written plan from a parent/guardian on file with the school.
  • The student (emancipated or 18 years of age or older) or student’s parent/guardian has submitted a signed official Immunization Non-Medical Exemption Form (Religious or Personal Belief) or the healthcare provider (medical doctor, doctor of osteopathic medicine, advanced practice nurse or delegated physician’s assistance) has signed an official Immunization Medical Exemption Form because of a condition that precludes a patient from receiving vaccine(s).

    If students do not meet at least one of the compliance criteria, they are not permitted to attend school. If you have questions about the student’s school immunization requirement, please communicate with the student’s school nurse or school representative.

    If you have questions about the ACIP immunization schedule, vaccines marked as invalid in your patient’s immunization record, or about Colorado School Immunization Law, please contact us from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday at 303-692-2700 or cdphe.dcdimmunization@state.co.us. If you have questions about the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS), please contact us 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday at 303-692-2437 (press 2), 1-888-611-9918 (press 1) or cdphe.ciis@state.co.us.

    Other reliable clinical resources include:

    • CDC Vaccines & Immunizations

      http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/default.htm

    • CDC’s 13th edition (2015) of the Epidemiology & Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/index.html
    • The Immunization Action Coalition: Ask the Experts http://www.immunize.org/askexperts/
    • CDC Experts at the National Immunization Program nipinfo@cdc.gov or 1-800-CDC-Info (1-800-232-4636)

      Sincerely,
      Colorado Immunization Branch | Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment

      303-692-2700 | cdphe.dcdimmunization@state.co.us

      4300 Cherry Creek Drive S., Denver, CO 80246-1530 P 303-692-2000 www.colorado.gov/cdphe John W. Hickenlooper, Governor | Larry Wolk, MD, MSPH, Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer