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Tennessee's immunization requirements for back to school

MGN Online

It is important to make sure kids are up to date on their vaccines required by the state before sending them back to school.

The Tennessee Department of Health has immunization requirements for any child who attends pre-school, child care, grade school and college that can be found here. It is also a requirement that the information be documented in the Official Immunization Certificate, which is available at many medical offices in Tennessee.

An alternative proof of immunity to certain diseases is allowed by presenting a positive serology. Other diseases require a credible history of documentations given by a parent or guardian to prove that the child has been diagnosed with the disease.

Below is a list of all vaccines required by the state, broken up by age groups.

Child care facilities and pre-school requirements:

  • Hepatitis B (HBV)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTaP, or DT if appropriate)
  • Poliomyelitis (IPV or OPV)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) - age younger than 5 years only
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) - age younger than 5 years only
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella - 1 dose of each, normally given together as MMR
  • Varicella - 1 dose or credible history of disease
  • Hepatitis A - 1 dose, required by 18 months of age or older

Kindergarten:

  • Hepatitis B (HBV)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTaP, or DT if appropriate)
  • Poliomyelitis (IPV or OPV) - final dose on or after the 4th birthday
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella - 2 doses of each, usually given together as MMR
  • Varicella - 2 doses or credible history of disease
  • Hepatitis A - total of 2 doses, spaced at least 6 - 18 months apart

Seventh grade:

  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster (Tdap) - evidence of one Tdap dose given any time before 7th grade entry is required regardless of Td history
  • Varicella - 2 doses or credible history of disease
  • Update to 7th Grade Chickenpox (Varicella) Immunization Requirements

New students being enrolled in Tennessee other than kindergarten:

  • Hepatitis B (HBV)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTaP, or DT if appropriate)
  • Poliomyelitis (IPV or OPV - final dose on or after the 4th birthday
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella - 2 doses of each, normally given together as MMR
  • Varicella - 2 doses or credible history of disease
  • New students entering grades other than 7th grade are not required to have Tdap

College age students:

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (2 doses of each, normally given together as MMR): if born on or after January 1, 1957 only.
  • Varicella (2 doses or credible history of disease): if born on or after January 1, 1980 only.
  • Hepatitis B (HBV) – only for health science students expected to have patient contact (before patient contact begins).
  • Meningococcal - At a minimum of 1 dose given at 16 years of age or greater if enrolling in public institution for the first time andunder 22 years of age and living in on-campus housing; private institutions set their own requirements for this vaccine.

For more information visit Tennessee Department of Health.

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