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Back to School: Does your child have the required vaccinations to attend?


Check out this parent’s guide to vaccinations, including information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s back-to-school season – are you ready? Getting back on track with immunizations is important to protect school-aged kids from diseases that can be deadly, including measles, mumps and whooping cough. In fact, having the correct vaccinations is a requirement for children attending New Jersey’s kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) schools.

It’s also important for eligible children to get their COVID-19 and seasonal flu shots to keep them from becoming seriously ill, though neither is required for children to attend K-12 schools in New Jersey.

Vaccine Recommendations

Some vaccines are required for school

Vaccinations help protect your child and your community — and save lives. The New Jersey Department of Health requires all students enrolled in a school or daycare center to receive the immunizations published in the Immunization of Pupils in School rules.

Get a flu shot every year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all children age 6 months and older get the flu vaccine every year. Talk to your doctor to make sure your child is protected from the flu.

COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination is the best way to protect against this serious disease. The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible children age 6 months and older. If you have questions or concerns, your doctor is the best source for advice.

The rules for young children are different

For children younger than six years old, a seasonal flu vaccine is required to attend preschool or day care. Additionally, the New Jersey Department of Health provides a chart of needed vaccinations for young children, broken down by age in months. You should also ask your doctor whether your young child should get the preventive RSV antibody to protect against RSV, sometimes called the “daycare disease.”

Vaccines can help keep everyone healthy and out of the health care system. According to the CDC, vaccines help prevent visits to the doctor, hospitalizations and early deaths.

Talk to your pediatrician about vaccinations for your child and keep a record of what immunizations are due and completed for different ages and grades. Make sure your child, and others they’re in contact with, are protected.

The chart below offers guidance about the vaccination doses required for students in each school grade.

Vaccines by Grade Level

Horizon Health News is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.