Your child must have at least the first dose of all the required vaccinations. If they do not, the school can keep them from attending. If your child isn’t up to date on their shots, you’ll have five days from the start of school to:
- Get the next required dose.
- Provide a medical plan to get fully up to date.
Work with your doctor to schedule the shots that your child needs to attend school. Refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) immunization schedule, or the chart below, to determine what vaccines your child needs before starting school.
A child may have a documented medical, religious, or philosophical exemption for these vaccines. Even if exempt, a child may be excluded from school during an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.
Children and youth attending school in Philadelphia and their parents or guardians.
It’s important for your child to catch up on checkups and recommended vaccines to protect their health now and in the future.
Find out more from the CDC: Catch Up on Checkups and Routine Vaccinations
At the start of the school year, you will need to show your child’s school that your child is up to date on their vaccinations. Ask your doctor to provide an Immunization History or Certificate of Immunization for your child. If your child is behind schedule, you must show the school that your child is scheduled to receive missing doses.
Your child must have the first dose of the following vaccines on the first day of school.
|For all grades||Total doses||Notes|
|Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (DTP/Dtap/DT/Td, or Tdap*)||4*||1 dose at/after age 4|
|Polio (OPV/IPV)||4||Fourth dose at/after age 4, at least sixmonths after previous dose**|
|Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR/MMRV)||2||At/after age 1|
|Hepatitis B (HBV)||3|
|Chickenpox (Varicella/MMRV)||2||At/after age 1***|
|To start seventh grade||Total doses||Notes|
|Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4)||1||At/after age 2|
|Tetanus, diptheria, pertussis (Tdap)||1||At/after age 7|
|To start 12th grade||Total doses||Notes|
|Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4)||2||If first dose given at age 16 or older, only one dose is needed to enter 12th grade|
* Only three doses of Td-containing vaccine are necessary if series is started at or after age 7 and at least one dose is Tdap.
** A fourth dose is not necessary if the third dose was given at age 4 or older and at least six months after the previous dose.
*** Or documentation of immunity by lab test, or written statement from parent, guardian, or physician.
Where and when
Make a doctor’s appointment for your child during the summer, so that your child can get the vaccines that they need to start school in the fall.
If your child doesn’t have a doctor, you can visit a City Health Center for immunizations – even without an appointment.
New students must have their vaccinations up to date before starting school.
- Learn how to get the vaccinations you need.