Important changes are happening with how Washington State Department of Health tracks children’s immunization status.
Medically Verified Immunizations or Exemptions are Required to Attend School
The state also has a new law that says students must be current in their immunizations or have a doctor-authorized Certificate of Exemption on file to attend school. Beginning this fall, new students, including those moving to new schools within the same school district, must have current immunizations or a Certificate of Exemption to attend school. If students are missing their immunization records or they are not compliant with required vaccinations for their age, the student will be excluded from school until the immunization requirements are met.
Here are some examples of medically verified immunization records:
- A completed Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) signed by a health care provider. Find the CIS form by visiting the Washington State Department of Health webpage and clicking on “Certificate of Immunization Status.”
- A CIS filled out by you or another parent/guardian with medical records attached.
- A CIS printed by a health care provider or school from the Washington State Immunization Information System.
- A CIS printed from MyIR which is a free Department of Health online tool that allows families to view and print their official immunization records themselves. Go to the MyIR website to begin the sign-up process.
There is a statewide database that tracks the immunizations for each child on record in Washington state. That means, if you do not have your child’s immunization records, the school should be able to pull them for you when you register. They will ask you to sign the printed record for your student’s school file. Students from outside of Washington state or not yet in the statewide system should bring a record of immunizations from a health care provider.
New Tdap Requirements for 7th through 12th Grades
All 7th grade students must have a Tdap vaccination given at age 10 years or older or a completed Certificate of Exemption form. This is a change from the previous requirement of having the Tdap dose by 6th grade. Students in grades 8 - 12 must have received their Tdap dose on or after age seven.
If your child already meets immunization requirements and has records on file with the school, you do not need to do anything. If you’re not sure, or have questions, please contact your school office or school nurse.