Immunizations Needed For School

California Health Laws require all students under age 18 years, pre-kindergarten through grade 12, be immunized against certain diseases unless they are exempt for medical reasons. At the time of registration, the school is required to have proof that your child has received all currently due immunizations.

Check with your pediatrician, family physician or medical clinic to make sure your child is fully immunized. Your child will be excluded from attending school if these requirements are not met.

Students Entering TK/Kindergarten - 12th Grade Need: 
Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP, DTP, Tdap, or Td) — 5 doses
  • 4 doses OK if one was given on or after 4th birthday
  • 3 doses OK if one was given on or after 7th birthday
  • For 7th-12th graders, at least 1 dose of pertussis-containing vaccine is required on or after 7th birthday
Polio (OPV or IPV) — 4 doses
  • 3 doses OK if one was given on or after 4th birthday
Hepatitis B — 3 doses
  • Not required for 7th grade entry 
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) — 2 doses
  • Both given on or after 1st birthday
Varicella (Chickenpox) — 2 doses
  • History of Chickenpox disease does not meet the varicella immunization requirement.
  • A medical exemption issued using CAIR-ME must be used for a child who had chickenpox disease that was documented by a physician.
These immunization requirements apply to new admissions and transfers for all grades, including transitional kindergarten.

Students Starting 7th Grade Need:
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap) —1 dose
  • Whooping cough booster usually given at 11 years and up
  • Students will not be allowed to attend school without documentation of a Tdap immunization.
Varicella (Chickenpox) — 2 doses
  • Usually given at ages 12 months and 4-6 years
In addition, the TK/K-12 school requirements apply to 7th grade students who:
  • Previously had a valid personal beliefs exemption filed before 2016 upon entry between TK/Kindergarten and 6th grade, or,
  • Are new admissions, including from out-of-state; applies to all grades.
Medical Exemption FAQ:
  • What were the main changes to the medical exemption process that came into effect under Senate Bills (SB) 276 and SB 714 (Pan, 2019)?
Beginning January 1, 2021, all new medical exemptions for school 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.
  • Are medical exemptions filed for children in attendance at a California school before 2021 valid in later years?
A medical exemption filed at school remains valid until the earliest of:
  • When the child enrolls in the next grade span (TK/K-6th grade, 7th-12th grade)
  • The expiration date specified in a temporary medical exemption
  • Revocation of the exemption (PDF) because the issuing physician has been subject to disciplinary action from the physician’s licensing entity.
  • A doctor has told a child’s parents that their child needs a medical exemption from a required immunization. How do parents get a medical exemption for their child?
Starting January 1, 2021, all new medical exemptions for school entry must be issued through CAIR-ME.   Parents can create an account in CAIR-ME and apply for an exemption. They will receive an exemption application number to give to their child’s physician. The physician can register for an account in CAIR-ME and log in to issue the ME.  Once the ME is issued, the physician prints the form and provides a copy to the parents to give to their child’s school.

  • Does a child with an existing medical exemption in CAIR-ME need a new medical exemption if the child enrolls in a new school within the same grade span?
No, a parent can present the medical exemption issued previously in CAIR-ME to the new school, but the school information must be updated in CAIR-ME.  Parents must log in to CAIR-ME, update the school information, and show proof of the change to the new school.  Parents will be able to print a copy of the changes to show the school.  
Student Tuberculosis (TB) Risk Assessment:
All new admission and transfer students will be assessed for their risk of developing TB.  Students with identified risk factors, such as birth in a country with an elevated TB rate and if a child or family member traveled outside of the United States to a high risk country for longer than 30 days, should have a tuberculin skin test (TST) or Interferon-gamma release blood test (IGRA).Contact the Sierra Vista Children’s Health Center or your child’s physician to see if your child needs to be tested.  This needs to be done before your child can attend or return to school.

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