Before a student can attend school, parents must provide proof of full immunization, proof that a schedule of immunization has been started or a certificate of exemption. Immunization must be provided against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, polio, mumps, measles, rubella, hepatitis B and varicella.
Immunizations protect the health of your child, and the health of others. State law requires that children entering kindergarten must have certain immunizations. For kindergarten entry:
- 2 doses of Varicella (Chickenpox) given on or after first birthday and received at least 28 days apart OR Blood test (titer) showing immunity to Varicella OR health care provider diagnosis is acceptable. Parent reported history of disease is NO longer acceptable
- 5 doses of DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) Fifth dose must be given on or after fourth birthday or 4 doses are acceptable, if fourth dose was given on or after the fourth birthday.
- 4 doses of Polio – Fourth dose must be given on or after fourth birthday or 3 doses are acceptable, if third dose was given on or after the fourth birthday.
- 2 doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) given on or after first birthday and received at least 28 days apart or blood test (titer) showing immunity to Measles, Mumps, or Rubella is acceptable
- 3 doses of Hepatitis B; dose 3 must be given on or after 24 weeks of age.
Immunization Requirement Changes
Medically Verified Immunization Records
Vaccination records for school and child care entry need to be medically verified for any immunization documentation turned in on or after Aug. 1, 2020 and for all new students entering the district.
Examples of medically verified immunization records:
- A completed Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) signed by a health care provider.
- 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 https://wa.myir.net/register to begin the sign-up process.
- Official lifetime immunization records another country or state with a unique healthcare provider signature or clinic stamp.
- Official immigration immunization records
Conditional Status and School Entry
There is no longer an automatic 30-day conditional period from the first day of school. On or before the first day of attendance all children must have turned in documentation of:
- Full immunization by vaccination or titer for all the diseases for which immunization is required; or
- Completed Certificate of Exemption; or
- Initiation of a schedule towards full immunization
The Tdap booster is now required for students entering seventh grade, rather than sixth grade. Students entering seventh grade must have received their Tdap dose on or after 10 years. Students in eighth through twelfth grades must have received their Tdap dose on or after seven years.
MMR Personal Exemption
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 childcare entry.
MMR Vaccine exemption law change FAQs
In Washington, all students 18 years or younger may get vaccines at low or no cost from their healthcare provider. Immunizations protect the health of your student, and the health of others.
Talk to your healthcare provider or school nurse if you have questions about school immunization requirements.
Visit the Department of Health School and Childcare Immunizations page for more information
Immunization Required Notices
Washington State law requires that parents/guardians of students in grade 6th-12th be provided information about Meningococcal disease and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and the availability of a vaccine.
On or before the first day of attendance, all students must have turned in medically verified documentation of immunization records.
Certificate of Immunization Status (English)
Certificate of Immunizations Status (Spanish)
Immunization Exemption Law
A Certificate of Exemption (COE) form signed by the healthcare provider stating that the parent/guardian received information about the benefits and risks of immunization is now required for any type of exemption (medical, religious, or philosophical) request.
Despite an exemption, please know that should an outbreak occur, the Whatcom County Public Health Department will provide guidance regarding exclusion of your student from school.
Clinics and Resources
In Washington State vaccines are free for all children under 18 years of age. You can receive vaccines from your primary care physician, a community health clinic, and most pharmacies. Clinics may have an associated office visit or administration fee, but if you cannot afford the fee you can ask for it to be waived. Clinics that get state-supplied vaccine are forbidden by law from denying your child a vaccine because you cannot pay.
Please contact your health care provider or one of the following to make sure your child meets the required immunizations:
Whatcom County Health Department
1500 N. State Street
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed legal holidays
Sea Mar Community Health Center
4455 Cordata Parkway
Monday: 8 AM to 9 PM
Tuesday-Saturday: 8 AM to 5 PM
Nurse visit by appointment for established patients
New Patients by appointment.
Unity Care NW
220 Unity Street
Monday-Friday: 7:45 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 7:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Immunizations by appointment for established patients
If you do not have a health care provider or insurance, please contact your school nurse.