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.
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 all public and private schools and child care settings. The law removes the option for a personal/philosophical exemption to the MMR vaccine. It also requires employees and volunteers working in schools and child care centers to provide immunization records indicating they have received the MMR vaccine or provide 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.
Meningococcal disease is a serious infection of the brain (meningitis) and blood caused by bacteria. Fortunately, this life-threatening infection is rare. Adolescents and young adults are most likely to contract meningococcal disease, especially those living in-group settings such as college dorms.
A Meningococcal vaccine is available that may prevent up to 65 percent of meningococcal disease among adolescents and young adults. The vaccine is recommended by the WA State Dept of Health for all children 11-12 years of age and older.
You can 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 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. Some types of HPV can cause genital warts in both males and females.
An HPV vaccine is available and recommended by the WA State Dept of Health for boys and girls over the age of 9 years.
You can learn more about HPV infection and how to prevent it at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.