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Colorado School Requirements

Some of the vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) to keep your child healthy are also required by Colorado law for children attending Colorado child care, preschool or school to prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable disease. When we immunize our children against infectious diseases, we give them the opportunity to learn and grow in a healthy environment.

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) provides a letter for parents to let you know which vaccines your child will be required to have in order to attend a center or school each year. This should have been sent to you by your school or child care. Once your child has received his or her required immunizations, make sure you have an immunization record for both your child’s personal health record and for the school which you will provide at registration.

For answers to frequently asked questions, college entry requirements, HIPAA and school immunization laws, and parent letters in multiple languages, visit the Colorado Immunization Branch's School Immunizations page.

For questions about your child’s required immunizations, please contact your child's school or child care center or the Colorado Immunization Branch.

Did you know?

Colorado requires schools and licensed child care facilities to annually report their immunization and exemption rates to CDPHE. To look up your child’s school or child care facility rates, visit CDPHE's school and child care immunization data website.

Parents consider a variety of factors when deciding where to send their child for school or child care, and now immunization and exemption rates can be part of that decision.

Why is this important?
School communities with higher vaccine exemption rates are more likely to experience avaccine-preventable disease outbreak. An outbreak puts all children – including vaccinated children – at a higher risk of contracting the disease. Transparency around school and licensed child care immunization rates is especially critical for the parents of children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and are especially vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases and their complications. 

How do I know if a facility's immunization rate is high enough?
When enough people in a community are vaccinated against a disease, those who are vaccinated can provide a shield of protection for those who cannot be vaccinated or have weakened immune systems. This shield helps reduce the risk that a VPD will enter a community and spread to others.  For each disease, depending on how contagious it is, a particular percentage of the population must be vaccinated in order to keep it at bay.

Disease Minimum Level for Community Immunity Average Colorado Immunization Rate* Your Child Care/School Immunization Rate
Measles 95% 88.9%
Mumps 86% 88.9%
Pertussis 94% 90.1%
Polio 95% 89.3%
Chickenpox (Varicella) 90% 88.3%

*2016 National Immunization Survey

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