September 21, 2012
IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR PRESCHOOLERS
By: Nicole Dube, Associate Analyst
This report provides information on state immunization requirements for children attending preschool.
Department of Public Health (DPH) regulations require children to be immunized against certain diseases and conditions in order to attend a child day care center, group day care home, or a public or nonpublic school. Under state law, each local or regional board of education, or similar body governing a nonpublic school, must require each child to be protected by adequate immunization against the following:
2. pertussis (whooping cough);
4. poliomyelitis (polio);
5. measles, mumps, and rubella (often called “MMR”);
6. hemophilus influenza type B (a bacterial illness that can cause meningitis and other diseases in young children); and
7. any other illness required by DPH regulations (CGS § 10-204a).
In 2011, DPH amended its regulations to require immunization against influenza. Specifically, starting August 2011, each child enrolled in preschool between ages two and five must receive an annual influenza vaccine between August 1 and December 1. Children receiving the vaccine for the first time must be given a second dose at least 28 days after the first dose (Conn. Agencies Reg. § 10-204a-2a(k)).
Exemptions from these immunization requirements are available if the child presents (1) a certificate from a physician stating that, in the physician's opinion, such immunization is medically contraindicated because of the child's physical condition or (2) a statement from his or her parents or guardians that the immunization would be contrary to the child's religious beliefs (Conn. Agencies Reg. § 10-204a-2a(m & n)).
PA 10-117 requires DPH to determine the state's childhood immunization schedule based on the recommended schedules of the (1) federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, (2) American Academy of Pediatrics, and (3) American Academy of Family Physicians (CGS § 19a-7f). According to DPH, the department amended its regulations in 2011 to comply with these organizations' immunization schedules, all of which recommend that preschoolers receive the influenza vaccine. (A copy of these immunization schedules is attached.)
American Academy of Family Physicians, “2012 Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule,” http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/clinical/immunizationres.html, website last visited on September 18, 2012.
American Academy of Pediatrics, “Recommended Childhood Adolescent Immunization Schedules – United States, 2012,” http://www2.aap.org/cisp/IZSchedule.html, website last visited on September 18, 2012.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “2012 Child, Adolescent, and “Catch Up” Immunization Schedules,” http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/child-adolescent.html, website last visited on September 18, 2012.
Connecticut Department of Public Health Immunization Program, http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3136&Q=466892&PM=1, website last visited on September 18, 2012.
OLR Report 2011-R-439, “Connecticut's Childhood Immunization Program,” http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/rpt/2011-R-0439.htm, website last visited on September 18, 2012.