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NC Department of Health and Human Services
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North Carolina Immunization Branch

Schools

North Carolina law requires all children in the state to receive certain immunizations.  Records are checked when children enter school or child care.

Kindergarten

Vaccination requirements for kindergarten-age children can be found here.

Vaccine Number Doses Required Before School Entry*
Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis 5 doses*
Polio 4 doses*
Measles 2 doses*
Mumps 2 doses*
Rubella 1 dose*
Haemophilus Influenzae type B (Hib) 4 doses*
Hepatitis B (Hep B) 3 doses*
Varicella (chickenpox) 1 dose*

* Please read below for further information.

Detailed Vaccine-Specific Requirements

The North Carolina General Statutes (G.S. 130-A-152(a)) require immunizations for every child present in this state. Every parent, guardian or person in loco parentis is responsible for ensuring that their child(ren) receive required immunizations. If you have specific questions regarding your child, please contact your child's health care provider or your local health department. North Carolina requires the following immunizations:

Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis

Five doses. Three doses by age seven months and two booster doses, one by age 19 months and the second dose on or after the fourth birthday and before enrolling in school for the first time. If the fourth dose was administered on or after the fourth birthday, the fifth dose is not required.

A booster dose of tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis vaccine is required for individuals attending public school who are entering the sixth grade on or after August 1, 2008, if five years or more have passed since the last dose of tetanus/diphtheria toxoid. A booster dose of tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis vaccine is required for individuals not attending public schools who are 12 years of age on or after August 1, 2008, if five years or more have passed since the last dose of tetanus/diphtheria toxoid.

Polio

Four doses. Two doses by age five months of age, a third dose by 19 months of age and a booster dose before enrolling in school for the first time. If the third dose was administered on or after the fourth birthday, the fourth dose is not required.

Measles

Two doses. One dose on or after 12 months of age and before 16 months of age and a second dose before enrolling in school for the first time. As long as the doses are separated by at least 28 days, the second dose may be given at any time before beginning school. A person who has been diagnosed prior to January 1, 1994 by a physician as having measles or an individual who has documented laboratory results of a protective antibody titer against measles is not required to receive vaccine. Lacking such proof, vaccination is required.

Mumps

Two doses. One dose on or after 12 months of age and before age 16 months and a second dose before enrolling in school for the first time. A physician's diagnosis is not acceptable for mumps disease(s). The person must be immunized or have documented laboratory results of a protective antibody titer against the specific disease.

Rubella

One dose on or after 12 months of age and before 16 months of age. A physician's diagnosis is not acceptable for rubella disease(s). The person must be immunized or have documented laboratory results of a protective antibody titer against the specific disease.

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

Three doses of HbOC or two doses of PRP-OMP by age seven months and a final dose of any type on or after 12 months of age and by 16 months of age. Persons who receive the first dose of Hib on or after 12 months of age and before 15 months of age are required to have only two doses. Persons who received the first dose of Hib vaccine on or after 15 months of age are required to have only one dose. Persons who have passed their fifth birthday are not required to be vaccinated against Hib.

Hepatitis B

Three doses. One dose by three months of age, second dose by five months of age and a third dose by 19 months of age. Persons born on or after July 1, 1994 are required to receive the hepatitis B vaccine. The last dose of hepatitis B vaccine series shall not be administered prior to 24 weeks of age.

Varicella

One dose. One dose of varicella vaccine - on or after 12 months of age and before age 19 months - is required for children born on or after April 1, 2001. However, an individual with laboratory tests showing immunity or a history of chickenpox documented by a health care provider, parent, guardian or person in loco parentis shall not be required to receive varicella vaccine. Documentation of prior history of chickenpox disease must be on or attached to the lifetime immunization card or certificate of immunization. Ask your health care provider for more information.

Required vs. Recommended

North Carolina law requires children receive certain vaccines. But in order to be fully protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, children should receive all immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Vaccines to protect against the flu, meningitis, rotavirus and others are available.  Learn more on the Immunizations for Children page.

Resources

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