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Immunization for School-Aged Children

Each child enrolled in day care, Head Start, and public or private school in Alabama must have a valid Alabama Certificate of Immunization on file at the facility that they attend. The certificate may be obtained from the physician or clinic that administers the vaccine or may be completed by any county health department in the State if the parent presents a vaccine record from the provider. For students who are moving to Alabama, out-of-state vaccine records must be transferred to the Alabama Certificate of Immunization prior to day care, Head Start, or school entry. This may be accomplished by taking a vaccine record from the provider to the local county health department, or, if a physician in Alabama has been chosen by the family, the record may be transposed by the physician.

The State of Alabama does not recognize philosophical, moral, or ethical exemption from vaccination. A medical exemption may be issued by a physician or an Alabama Certificate of Religious Exemption may be obtained from the local county health department. Attendees of day care and Head Start must be age-appropriately vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, PCV, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, Haemophilus influenzae type b, polio, and chickenpox.

Children attending 5 year-old-kindergarten through 12th grade must have had 5 doses of diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis vaccine (4 if the 4th dose was received after the 4th birthday) and 4 doses of polio vaccine (3 if the 3rd dose was received after the 4th birthday). Booster doses of tetanus-diphtheria toxoid vaccine must be given every 5-10 years after the preschool booster. Children in these grades should also have received 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine and 1 dose each of mumps and rubella vaccine, usually administered as 2 doses of MMR vaccine. Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine for kindergarten entry became a requirement in 2001. This requirement will increase by one grade cohort until Fall 2013, when varicella documentation will be required for all children, kindergarten through 12th grade (see chart below). A positive test for varicella immunity or documentation of chickenpox disease is acceptable in lieu of varicella vaccine. Also, children attending 6th grade are required to have Tdap.

Grade Requirements Varicella Vaccine

2002 K(5)-1st

2003 K(5)-2nd

2004 K(5)-3rd

2005 K(5)-4th

2006 K(5)-5th

2007 K(5)-6th

2008 K(5)-7th

2009 K(5)-8th

2010 K(5)-9th

2011 K(5)-10th

2012 K(5)-11th

2013 K(5)-12th

College Requirements

College vaccination requirements are specified by individual institutions. There are no state-regulated college requirements for vaccination. However, it is recommended that college attendees be up-to-date with all childhood vaccines and to consider meningococcal vaccination for college freshman who will be living in dormitories.

Page last updated: May 13, 2021