Under California law, children are required to receive certain immunizations to attend public and private elementary and secondary schools, child care centers, family day care homes, nursery schools, day nurseries, and developmental centers. 

Schools and child care facilities must enforce immunization requirements and maintain immunization records of every child enrolled. 

Medical Exemptions 

On June 30, 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 27, which states that personal and religious belief exemptions for vaccinations will not be allowed in California daycare, preschools and TK-12 settings. The law took effect on July 1, 2016.

As of January 2021, medical exemptions, either permanent or temporary, can only be issued through the state Department of Public Health’s California Immunization Registry Medical Exemption (CAIR-ME) website by physicians licensed in California. Schools may only accept new medical exemptions that are issued using CAIR-ME.

Required immunizations 

As of 2021, children entering transitional kindergarten through grade 12 must have the following immunizations:

  • 4 Polio (3 doses meet the requirement if at least one was given on or after the child’s fourth birthday)
  • 5 DTaP (4 doses meet the requirement if at least one was given on or after the child’s fourth birthday; 3 doses meet the requirement if at least one was given on or after the child’s seventh birthday)
  • 3 Hep B
  • 2 MMR (both doses must be given on or after the child’s first birthday)
  • 2 Varicella (also known as the chickenpox vaccine) 

Children entering grades seven through 12 must have:

  • All of the above plus 1 Tdap booster shot given on or after the child’s seventh birthday

Resources

For more information, download the Guide to Immunizations for School Entry and visit www.shotsforschool.org, presented by the California Department of Public Health.