Visit the Washington State Department of Health Immunizations page for information and resources regarding school and child care immunization requirements and reporting. The page is updated regularly to reflect changes from year to year.
New MMR Vaccine Exemption Law Change
In May 2019, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill that removes the personal and philosophical option to exempt children from the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine required for school and child care entry.
The bill took effect July 28, 2019 and applies to public and private schools and child cares. The law removes the option for a personal/philosophical exemption to the MMR vaccine requirement for schools and child cares. It also requires employees and volunteers at child care centers to provide immunization records indicating they have received the MMR vaccine or proof of immunity.
Meningococcal Meningitis Vaccine
As of July 2005 schools in Washington are required to provide information on meningococcal disease to parents or guardians of all students entering grades 6-12.
Meningococcal disease is a serious infection of the brain (meningitis) and blood caused by bacteria. Fortunately, this life-threatening infection is rare - - only about 75 people are infected each year in Washington. Adolescents and young adults are most likely to get meningococcal disease, especially those living in-group settings such as college dorms.
The Department of Health wants you to be aware of meningococcal disease and how you can protect your child against it. A vaccine is available that can prevent up to 65 percent of meningococcal disease among adolescents and young adults. The vaccine recommended for all children 11-12 years. It is also recommended for unvaccinated teens age 15 years and college freshmen that will be living in a dorm. The meningococcal vaccine is required in certain states college attendance.
Here are some other ways to prevent the spread of meningococcal disease:
##Practice good hygiene (regular hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, etc.)
##Do not share items that may spread meningococcal disease and other bacteria and viruses, such as eating utensils, glasses, cups, water bottles, drinks, lip-gloss or toothbrushes.
We encourage you to learn more about meningococcal disease and how to prevent it at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus that causes genital, oral and skin infections. It spreads by sexual contact. There are many types of HPV. Most of them are harmless and do not cause infections or symptoms. In fact, many people who become infected with HPV will not have any symptoms and the infection will clear up on its own. However, some types of HPV can cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers in females while other types can cause oral, anal, neck and head cancer in both males and females. Other types of HPV can also cause genital warts in both males and females.
The Department of Health wants you to be aware of HPV infection and how you can protect your child against it. A vaccine is available and recommended for boys and girls.
We encourage you to learn more about HPV infection and how to prevent it at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.