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California
State Vaccine Requirements
Posted Date: July 29, 2014



Quick Fact: In 2012 the personal belief exemption became more restrictive in that there is an additional requirement of a signature from a health care practitioner to obtain the exemption. Effective Jan. 1, 2014 parents, guardians and empancipated minors must now obtain this additional signature when filing with the governing authority the necessary documents that state which vaccinations have not been given on the basis that they are contrary to his or her beliefs. When the law was amended for this change, Governor Brown also issued an executive order directing the health department to include a separate religious exemption on the new exemption form. 

In 2011 a new law was passed which allows minors 12 years old and older to consent to vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases without the knowledge or consent of their parents.  This includes HPV vaccine. 

Other Resources: Many vaccination and exemption information links are date specific. If the links below have expired, click on the state's department of health, or immunization program link provided below, as they are likely to provide links to updated information. The General Information link leads to the overview page provided by the state at the time of this webpage's update and may also be helpful.  Please email NVIC with broken link information.  

K-12 School Information  Higher Ed  Daycare Information 

Vaccination Requirements for Healthcare Workers, Patients, Inmates & Developmentally Disabled

State of California Legislaturesee applicable statutes and their hyperlinks below. Visit NVIC’s Advocacy Portal for information on legislation introduced impacting vaccine exemption rights. 

State of California Department of Health

State of California Immunization Program

State of California Immunization Registry Information

State of California Immunization Registry Opt-Out Form 

The information contained on NVIC's web pages is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be medical or legal advice. Those seeking medical or legal advice should obtain the services of a competent attorney, physician or qualified health care professional.  Although NVIC continually updates our website, state laws and rules change frequently and consumers are ultimately responsible for verifying their state's vaccination and exemption laws and requirements.

Back to Exemptions Main Page - All States 

California Department of Health Services, Division of Communicable Disease Control- Immunization Branch:

EDUCATION CODE
TITLE 2. ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
DIVISION 4. Instruction and Services
PART 27. Pupils
CHAPTER 2. Compulsory Education Law
ARTICLE 2. Persons Excluded

Cal Ed Code § 48216. Exclusion of pupil who has not been immunized; Notice to parents

(a) The county office of education or the governing board of the school district of attendance shall exclude any pupil who has not been immunized properly pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 120325) of Part 2 of Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code.

(b) The governing board of the district shall notify the parent or guardian of the pupil that they have two weeks to supply evidence either that the pupil has been properly immunized, or that the pupil is exempted from the immunization requirement pursuant to Section 120365 or 120370 of the Health and Safety Code

(c) The governing board of the district, in the notice, shall refer the parent or guardian of the pupil to the pupil's usual source of medical care to obtain the immunization, or if no usual source exists, either refer the parent or guardian to the county health department, or notify the parent or guardian that the immunizations will be administered at a school of the district.

HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE
DIVISION 105. Communicable Disease Prevention And Control
PART 2. Immunizations
CHAPTER 1. Educational and Child Care Facility Immunization Requirements

Cal Health & Saf Code § 120325. Legislative intent 

In enacting this chapter, but excluding Section 120380, and in enacting Sections 120400, 120405, 120410, and 120415, it is the intent of the Legislature to provide:

(a) A means for the eventual achievement of total immunization of appropriate age groups against the following childhood diseases:
(1) Diphtheria.
(2) Hepatitis B.
(3) Haemophilus influenzae type b.
(4) Measles.
(5) Mumps.
(6) Pertussis (whooping cough).
(7) Poliomyelitis.
(8) Rubella.
(9) Tetanus.
(10) Varicella (chickenpox).
(11) Any other disease deemed appropriate by the department, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

(b) That the persons required to be immunized be allowed to obtain immunizations from whatever medical source they so desire, subject only to the condition that the immunization be performed in accordance with the regulations of the department and that a record of the immunization is made in accordance with the regulations.

(c) Exemptions from immunization for medical reasons or because of personal beliefs.

(d) For the keeping of adequate records of immunization so that health departments, schools, and other institutions, parents or guardians, and the persons immunized will be able to ascertain that a child is fully or only partially immunized, and so that appropriate public agencies will be able to ascertain the immunization needs of groups of children in schools or other institutions.

(e) Incentives to public health authorities to design innovative and creative programs that will promote and achieve full and timely immunization of children.
 

Cal Health & Saf Code § 120335. "Governing authority"; Unconditional admission; Immunization requirements; Documentation; Specification of immunizing agents  

(a) As used in this chapter, "governing authority" means the governing board of each school district or the authority of each other private or public institution responsible for the operation and control of the institution or the principal or administrator of each school or institution.

(b) The governing authority shall not unconditionally admit any person as a pupil of any private or public elementary or secondary school, child care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center, unless, prior to his or her first admission to that institution, he or she has been fully immunized. The following are the diseases for which immunizations shall be documented:

(1) Diphtheria.
(2) Haemophilus influenzae type b.
(3) Measles.
(4) Mumps.
(5) Pertussis (whooping cough).
(6) Poliomyelitis.
(7) Rubella.
(8) Tetanus.
(9) Hepatitis B.
(10) Varicella (chickenpox).
(11) Any other disease deemed appropriate by the department, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), full immunization against hepatitis B shall not be a condition by which the governing authority shall admit or advance any pupil to the 7th grade level of any private or public elementary or secondary school.

(d) The governing authority shall not unconditionally admit or advance any pupil to the 7th grade level of any private or public elementary or secondary school unless the pupil has been fully immunized against pertussis, including all pertussis boosters appropriate for the pupil's age.

(e) The department may specify the immunizing agents that may be utilized and the manner in which immunizations are administered.

(f) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2012. 


Cal Health & Saf Code § 120360. Exceptions

The requirements of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 120325, but excluding Section 120380) and of Sections 120400, 120405, 120410, and 120415 shall not apply to any person 18 years of age or older, or to any person seeking admission to a community college.

 
120365. 

(a) Immunization of a person shall not be required for admission to a school or other institution listed in Section 120335 if the parent or guardian or adult who has assumed responsibility for his or her care and custody in the case of a minor, or the person seeking admission if an emancipated minor, files with the governing authority a letter or affidavit that documents which immunizations required by Section 120355 have been given, and which immunizations have not been given on the basis that they are contrary to his or her
beliefs.
 
(b) On and after January 1, 2014, a form prescribed by the State Department of Public Health shall accompany the letter or affidavit filed pursuant to subdivision (a). The form shall include both of the following:
 
(1) A signed attestation from the health care practitioner that indicates that the health care practitioner provided the parent or guardian of the person who is subject to the immunization requirements of this chapter, the adult who has assumed responsibility for the care and custody of the person, or the person if an emancipated minor, with information regarding the benefits and risks of the immunization and the health risks of the communicable diseases listed in Section 120335 to the person and to the community. This attestation shall be signed not more than six months prior to the date when the person first becomes subject to the immunization requirement for which exemption is being sought.

(2) A written statement signed by the parent or guardian of the person who is subject to the immunization requirements of this chapter, the adult who has assumed responsibility for the care and custody of the person, or the person if an emancipated minor, that indicates that the signer has received the information provided by the health care practitioner pursuant to paragraph (1). This statement shall be signed not more than six months prior to the date when the person first becomes subject to the immunization requirements as a condition of admittance to a school or institution pursuant to Section 120335.
 
 (c) The following shall be accepted in lieu of the original form:
 
   (1) A photocopy of the signed form.
 
   (2) A letter signed by a health care practitioner that includes all information and attestations included on the form.
 
(d) Issuance and revision of the form shall be exempt from the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
  
(e) When there is good cause to believe that the person has been exposed to one of the communicable diseases listed in subdivision (a) of Section 120325, that person may be temporarily excluded from the
school or institution until the local health officer is satisfied that the person is no longer at risk of developing the disease.
  
(f) For purposes of this section, "health care practitioner" means any of the following:
 
(1) A physician and surgeon, licensed pursuant to Section 2050 of the Business and Professions Code.

(2) A nurse practitioner who is authorized to furnish drugs pursuant to Section 2836.1 of the Business and Professions Code.
 
(3) A physician assistant who is authorized to administer or provide medication pursuant to Section 3502.1 of the Business and Professions Code.

(4) An osteopathic physician and surgeon, as defined in the Osteopathic Initiative Act.

(5) A naturopathic doctor who is authorized to furnish or order drugs under a physician and surgeon's supervision pursuant to Section 3640.5 of the Business and Professions Code.

(6) A credentialed school nurse, as described in Section 49426 of the Education Code.

Cal Health & Saf Code § 120370. Statement by physicians contraindicating immunization

If the parent or guardian files with the governing authority a written statement by a licensed physician to the effect that the physical condition of the child is such, or medical circumstances relating to the child are such, that immunization is not considered safe, indicating the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstances that contraindicate immunization, that person shall be exempt from the requirements of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 120325, but excluding Section 120380) and Sections 120400, 120405, 120410, and 120415 to the extent indicated by the physician's statement.

TITLE 17. PUBLIC HEALTH
DIVISION 1. STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES
CHAPTER 4. PREVENTIVE MEDICAL SERVICE
SUBCHAPTER 8. IMMUNIZATION AGAINST POLIOMYELITIS, DIPHTHERIA, PERTUSSIS, TETANUS, MEASLES (RUBEOLA), RUBELLA, HAEMOPHILUS INFLUENZAE TYPE B (HIB), MUMPS, AND HEPATITIS B
ARTICLE 1. DEFINITIONS

17 CCR § 6000. Admission

"Admission" means a pupil's first entry in a given public or private elementary or secondary school, child care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center. "Admission" also denotes a pupil's re-entry to one of these institutions after withdrawing from a previous enrollment.

(a) "Unconditional admission" is admission based upon documentation of receipt of all required immunizations or upon documentation of a permanent medical exemption or of a personal beliefs exemption to immunization in accordance with Section 6051.

(b) "Conditional admission" is admission based upon either documentation of having received some but not all required immunizations and of not being due for any vaccine dose at the time of entry or upon documentation of a temporary medical exemption to immunization in accordance with Section 6050. Continued attendance after conditional admission is contingent upon receipt of the remaining required immunizations in accordance with Sections 6020 and 6035.

17 CCR § 6020. Required Immunizations 

(a) The required immunizations for admission to and attendance at a public or private elementary or secondary school, child care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or developmental center shall be those set forth, according to age, in Table 1.

(b) In Table 1 of Section 6020 and in Table 2 of Section 6035, DTP (or DPT) means diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine, including DTaP vaccine. Tdap means tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine. DT (or TD) and Td (or dT) means diphtheria and tetanus toxoids.

(c) For pupils who have reached their seventh birthday, a history of any preparations containing diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine (DTP, DT, Td, Tdap, etc.) shall be acceptable as meeting the requirement for tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and pertussis vaccine that is set forth in Table 1.

(d) Pupils who have reached their seventh birthday shall be exempt from the mumps immunization requirements.

(e) Combination vaccines that include measles, mumps, and rubella components shall be acceptable as meeting the requirements for these vaccines that are set forth in Table 1.

(f) For pupils entering or advancing to the seventh grade, immunization requirements are set forth in Table 1.

(g) Pupils already admitted to California public and private schools at the Kindergarten level or above before July 1, 2001 are exempt from the Varicella (chickenpox) requirement as set forth in Table 1.

(h) For pupils entering or advancing into the eighth through twelfth grades, the immunization requirement is set forth in Table 1 of Section 6020.


17 CCR 
§ 6025. Unconditional Admission 

Any pupil age 18 months or older who has received all the immunizations against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles (rubeola), rubella, Haemophilus influenzae type B, mumps, hepatitis B and varicella (chickenpox) required for his or her age, as defined in Table 1, Section 6020, or who has documented a permanent medical exemption or a personal beliefs exemption to immunization in accordance with Section 6051, shall be admitted unconditionally as a pupil to a given public or private elementary or secondary school, child care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center. However, for some pupils admitted unconditionally to a child care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center, an additional dose of DTP and/or polio vaccine will be required for admission to school at kindergarten level and above, as indicated in Table 1, Section 6020.

17 CCR § 6051. Unconditional Admission with Permanent Medical Exemption or Personal Beliefs Exemption 

A pupil with a permanent medical exemption or a personal beliefs exemption to immunization shall be admitted unconditionally. A pupil with an exemption which is not based on pre-existing immunity to disease may be subject to exclusion pursuant to Section 6060.

(a) A permanent medical exemption shall be granted upon the filing with the governing authority of a written statement from a licensed physician to the effect that the physical condition of the pupil or medical circumstances relating to the pupil are such that immunization is permanently not indicated. The fact of the permanent medical exemption shall be recorded on the California School Immunization Record, PM 286 (01/02) as provided in Section 6070. A permanent medical exemption may be provided for one or more vaccines. A physician may provide a written statement that the pupil is medically exempt from the measles (rubeola) and/or varicella (chickenpox) requirements as a result of having had measles (rubeola) and/or varicella (chickenpox) disease, respectively. A physician may provide a written statement that the pupil is medically exempt from the rubella and/or mumps requirement as a result of having had laboratory confirmed illness with the corresponding disease.

(b) A personal beliefs exemption shall be granted upon the filing with the governing authority of a letter or affidavit from the pupil's parent or guardian or adult who has assumed responsibility for his or her care and custody in the case of a minor, or the person seeking admission if an emancipated minor, that such immunization is contrary to his or her beliefs. The fact of the personal beliefs exemption shall be recorded on the California School Immunization Record, PM 286 (01/02). If a personal beliefs exemption letter or affidavit for some or all immunizations was filed with the governing authority prior to July 1, 2011, a personal beliefs exemption letter or affidavit for the pertussis booster immunization must be filed with the governing authority. The Personal Beliefs Exemption form, CDPH 8261 (03/11), hereby incorporated by reference, is to be made available at the school as a means for exercising a personal belief exemption to the pertussis booster immunization requirement in Section 120335(d), Health and Safety Code. The fact of a personal beliefs exemption for the pertussis booster immunization requirement in Section 120335(d), Health and Safety Code, shall be recorded on the Tdap (Pertussis Booster) Requirement sticker, PM 286 S (01/11).

ARTICLE 4. EXCLUSION

17 CRR § 6060. Pupil Not Completely Immunized and Exposed to Communicable Disease.

Whenever the governing authority has good cause to believe that a pupil who is not completely immunized against a particular communicable disease may have been exposed to that disease, that information shall be reported by the governing authority immediately by telephone to the local health officer. The local health officer shall determine whether the pupil is at risk of developing the disease and, if so, may require the exclusion of the pupil from that school, child care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center until the completion of the incubation period and the period of communicability of the disease.

HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE
DIVISION 105. COMMUNICABLE DISEASE PREVENTION AND CONTROL
PART 2. IMMUNIZATIONS
CHAPTER 1.5 IMMUNIZATION OF COLLEGE-AGE STUDENTS

Cal. Health & Saf. Code §§ 120390-120390.7

120390. The department, in consultation with the Trustees of the California State University, and the Regents of the University of California, shall adopt and enforce all regulations necessary to carry out this chapter.

120390.5.

(a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b), (c), and (d), on or after January 1, 2000, the Trustees of the California State University, and the Regents of the University of California shall require the first-time enrollees at those institutions who are 18 years of age or younger to provide proof of full immunization against the hepatitis B virus prior to enrollment.

(b) A person who has not been fully immunized against the hepatitis B virus, as required by subdivision (a), may be admitted by the governing body of any of the institutions of higher education to which subdivision (a) is applicable on condition that, within a designated time period, the person will provide proof of full immunization against hepatitis B.

(c) Immunization of a person shall not be required for admission to an institution of higher education to which subdivision (a) is applicable if any of the following persons files with the governing body of the educational institution a letter or affidavit stating that the immunization is contrary to the beliefs of either of the following:

(1) The parent, guardian, or adult who has assumed responsibility for the care and custody of the person seeking admission, if that applicant is a minor who is not emancipated or who is 17 years of age or younger.

(2) The person seeking admission, if that applicant is an emancipated minor or is 18 years of age.

(d) If a person seeking enrollment in an institution of higher education to which subdivision (a) is applicable, or the parent or guardian of a person seeking enrollment, files with the governing body a written statement by a physician and surgeon that the physical condition of the person or medical circumstances relating to the person are such that immunization is not considered safe, indicating the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstances that contraindicate immunization, that person shall be exempt from the requirements of subdivision (a).

120390.7. No provision of this chapter shall apply to the University of California except to the extent that the Regents of the University of California, by appropriate resolution, make that provision applicable.

CALIFORNIA FAMILY CODE
PART 4. MEDICAL TREATMENT
CHAPTER 3. CONSENT BY MINOR
SECTION 6926

(a) A minor who is 12 years of age or older and who may have come into contact with an infectious, contagious, or communicable disease may consent to medical care related to the diagnosis or treatment of the disease, if the disease or condition is one that is required by law or regulation adopted pursuant to law to be reported to the local health officer, or is a related sexually transmitted disease, as may be determined by the State Public Health Officer.

(b) A minor who is 12 years of age or older may consent to medical care related to the prevention of a sexually transmitted disease.

(c) The minor's parents or guardian are not liable for payment for medical care provided pursuant to this section.



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