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NC Department of Health and Human Services
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North Carolina Immunization Branch

N.C. Rules and Laws

Highlights of N.C. Rules and Laws

Responsibility for Enforcement

School principals and child care operators are responsible for enforcing state immunization laws for school entry.

The school or child care facility must notify the parent(s), guardian or person in loco parentis that they have 30 calendar days from the first day of attendance to present the required up-to-date immunization record for the child. If the child's immunizations are not up to date, the required immunizations must be obtained within the same 30 day period.

At the end of the 30 calendar day period, any child without a Certificate of Immunization showing that the child has received the required vaccines shall be prohibited from attending school or child care until he/she provides a Certificate of Immunization as required by law or shows that he/she has begun the immunization process.

When Immunizations are "In Process"

Children who have begun a series of immunizations, but have not completed the series due to the need to meet minimum intervals between doses, are considered in process and may attend school.

School Records

The school is required to maintain immunization records which contain information required for a Certificate of Immunization for all children attending the school. The school should keep a separate listing of students having medical or religious exemptions. These children may be excluded from attending school in the event of an outbreak.

When a record of immunization cannot be provided, the student must be revaccinated at an age-appropriate, accelerated schedule to the minimum requirement by law.

G.S. 130-155(b) requires North Carolina schools, upon request, to send a copy of the child's immunization record at no charge to the student's new school. The former school shall forward a child's immunization record regardless of status of fees owed to the school.

Transfers

  • In-state transfer students - A new/transfer student is not considered "in process" if it takes more than 30 calendar days from the first day of attendance to obtain their records from another school. The parent(s), guardian or person in loco parentis should be informed on the first day of attendance that they have 30 calendar days to submit an immunization record for their child.
  • Out-of-state transfer students - A person who received immunizations in a state other than North Carolina must present an official certificate or record of immunization to the child care facility, school (K-12) or college or university. This certificate or record must state the person’s name, address, date of birth, and sex; the type and number of doses of administered vaccine, the dates of the first MMR and the last DTP and polio, the name and address of the local physician or local health department administering the required immunizations and any other information required by the North Carolina Immunization Rules.

Parent's Responsibility

A parent, guardian or responsible person must present a Certificate of Immunization on the child’s first day of attendance to the child care facility. If a Certificate of Immunization is not presented on the first day, the child care operator must present a notice of deficiency to the parent, guardian or responsible person. The parent, guardian or responsible person has 30 calendar days from the first day of attendance to obtain the required immunizations. Additional days, upon certification by a physician, may be allowed to obtain the required immunizations if the approved intervals require a period in excess of 30 calendar days. Upon termination of 30 calendar days or the extended period, the child care operator shall not permit the child to attend the child care facility unless the required immunization has been obtained.

Child Care Operator's Responsibility

The child care facility maintains immunization records on file for all children attending the child care facility, which contains the information required for a Certificate of Immunization. When a child transfers to another child care facility, the facility where the child previously attended must, upon request and at no charge, send a copy of the child’s immunization record to the child care facility or school to which the child has transferred. The child care operator must complete and submit the Annual Child Care Immunization Report to the N.C. Immunization Branch on December 1st of each year.

Child Care Records

The parent, guardian or responsible person is responsible for presenting and maintaining the Certificate of Immunization. If a child case operator is unable to get the required immunization information from the parent/guardian, that information can be obtained by the operator from the physician or local health department. This information is available to the child care operator, upon request and without a written consent form.

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