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Changes to State Immunization Rules for Schools and Child Cares Effective August 1, 2020

The State Board of Health (SBOH) has approved changes to Chapter 246-105 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) concerning school immunization policy.

The update to Chapter 246-105 WAC has three major focuses:

  • 1)   It now requires medically verified immunization records for school entry.
  • 2)   It clarifies conditional status in regards to school  immunization requirements and implementation.
  • 3)  It changes the Tdap immunization requirement to 7th through 12th grades.

Medically Verified Records

Starting on August 1, 2020, the revised rule requires medically verified immunization records for school  entry.
Medically verified record includes one or more of the following:

Conditional Status

Starting on August 1, 2020, the revised rule grants students conditional status entry into school who are making progress towards completing their immunization requirements. Students may begin school  only if they received all of the required immunizations they are due to receive and submitted medically verified records on or before the first day of attendance.

If additional immunizations are needed after receiving all immunizations they are eligible to receive before starting school, students may start school  in conditional status and remain until the next dose becomes due. Students will then have 30 calendar days to turn in updated records showing they received the missing dose. If additional doses are due, conditional status continues until all required immunizations are complete. If the 30 days expire without updated records, the student must be excluded from further attendance.

Change to Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine Requirement

Starting on August 1, 2020, the requirement for a Tdap dose changes from grade 6-12 to grade 7-12. All students entering 7th through 12th grades must have one booster dose of Tdap vaccine. In the 2020-2021 school year, all students in 7th grade must have received their Tdap dose on or after age 10 years. Students in 8th through 12th grades must have received their Tdap dose on or after age 7 years.

MMR Vaccine Exemption Law Change 2019

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.

This page contains quick information and resources on this change to school and child care immunization requirements. Find more detailed information in the Frequently Asked Questions. As more information becomes available, we will share it.

Law Change Quick Facts