New Immunization Laws for Schools, Child Care, and Early Childhood Programs Begin September 2014

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On Sept. 1, 2014, changes to Minnesota’s Immunization Law will take effect. The changes were made to be more closely aligned with the current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations. Medical and conscientious exemptions are still allowed under the law.

New Vaccine Requirements

The new vaccines that will require documentation of immunization or a legal exemption include:

  • Hepatitis B - For all children over 2 months old in child care or an early childhood program. Hepatitis B was already required for children in school.
  • Hepatitis A - For all children over 24 months old in child care or an early childhood program.
  • Tdap - For all students entering seventh grade. Students in eighth through 12th grade must show documentation if the school requests it. This replaces the Td immunization requirement.
  • Meningitis (meningococcal) - For all students entering seventh grade. Students entering eighth through 12th grade must show documentation if the school requests it.

Changes to Previous Vaccine Requirements

  • Varicella - Children 15 months and older must have received varicella (chickenpox) vaccine or show documentation that they have either had varicella disease or a legal exemption. This changes the requirement from 18 months to 15 months.
    Additionally, the law clarifies that if a child had varicella disease:
      • Before Sept. 1, 2010, the parent or guardian needs to provide the month/year of the disease and their signature. A provider’s signature is not required.
      • After Sept. 1, 2010, a provider’s signature is required.
  • Polio and DTaP - Starting with the 2015-2016 school year, children entering kindergarten must have had their final:
    • Polio dose (usually fourth dose) on or after their fourth birthday.
    • DTaP dose (usually fifth dose) vaccine on or after their fourth birthday.
  • Kindergarten through 12th grade - The immunization law now specifies that students in all grades have documentation for all required vaccines. If the school requests immunization records for any student (K-12), parents must comply by providing the immunization dates or a legal exemption. The requirement for schools to report compliance at kindergarten and seventh grade to MDH remains unchanged.

Early Childhood Programs Now Included

New to Minnesota’s Immunization Law are early childhood programs which include programs that provide instructional or other services to support children’s learning and development and:

  • Serve children from birth to kindergarten.
  • Meet at least once a week for at least six weeks or more during the year.

Children enrolled or enrolling in these types of programs must provide proof of immunizations or have a legal exemption for:

  • DTaP
  • Varicella
  • Polio
  • Pneumococcal (2-24 months)
  • MMR
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hib
  • Hepatitis B

Note: Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) was already included in the Immunization Law.

For more information

Visit www.health.state.mn.us/immunize (click on Immunization Laws in the left-hand column) or call the Immunization Program at 651-201-5503, 1-800-657-3970.

Are Your Kids Ready?
When to Get Vaccines, Birth to 16 years

Charts showing vaccines needed by age and for enrolling in child care, early childhood programs, and school in Minnesota. Includes the new immunization requirements that begin Sept. 1, 2014.

Updated Friday, August 08, 2014 at 08:55AM