22494 School-Entry Vaccination Laws in the United States, 2009-2010: A Brief Overview

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Grand Hall
Cynthia Knighton, BS , Program Analyst, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Background: School-entry vaccination laws in the United States have played a vital role in increasing vaccination rates, consequently reducing the number of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) provides recommendations regarding what vaccinations should be administered before school-entry, including when and how they should be administered.  While most states have adopted these recommendations and incorporated them into school-entry vaccination laws, others are not consistent with these recommendations.  Variations from state to state are due to differences in processes for changing laws, obtaining exemptions, and enforcing laws.

Setting: U.S. 50 states and DC

Population: The assessment looked at the school-entry vaccination laws and processes in all 50 states and DC

Project Description: Annually, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires states to report information on school-entry vaccination laws, exemptions and processes for changing and enforcing laws. These data are based on self-reports by the immunization programs in the states and DC.  CDC does an email follow-up on those self-reports to fill in any missing information. The objectives of this assessment are to present the current status of school-entry vaccination laws in the United States.

Results/Lessons Learned: The processes for changing laws or regulations, exemptions, and enforcement are important factors in achieving and maintaining national goals for vaccination coverage.  Reporting this information provides health officials with a foundation for understanding differences in school-entry vaccination laws, ensuing re-evaluation of uniform requirements and improving vaccination coverage rates.

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