Oregon Health Authority answers FAQs about vaccinations

The Oregon Health Authority answers frequently asked questions about Oregon school and child care immunization requirements.

Do all schools and childcare programs require shots?

Shots are required for attendance at all schools in Oregon, whether public, private, charter or alternative schools. Shots are also required for attendance at all preschools, Head Start programs, and certified child care facilities. If your child attends a registered family child care, your day care provider should ask you to provide dates that your child received shots. Nearly every place that provides care for a child requires parents to provide immunization information.

What shots are required for school and childcare attendance in Oregon?

Oregon requires immunization against eleven vaccine-preventable diseases:

• Diphtheria

• Tetanus

• Pertussis (whooping cough)

• Polio

• Varicella (chickenpox)

• Measles

• Mumps

• Rubella

• Hepatitis B

• Hepatitis A

• Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B) – only for children under 5 years of age

How do I prove that my child has had shots?

Make sure that you take your child’s immunization record with you when you enroll your child in school or child care. You will be given a Certificate of Immunization Status to complete with the dates of your child’s shots. Parents or guardians can sign the Certificate of Immunization Status; there is no need to have it signed by your child’s doctor or medical provider. Students 15 years of age or older can sign their own Certificate of Immunization Status forms.

Where can I get a Certificate of Immunization Status?

Your child’s school or childcare provider will have copies of the Certificate of

Immunization Status form. Click to find the form and instructions in English and


What other shots are recommended?

There are additional vaccines that children are not required to have to stay in school or childcare, however experts agree that children should have them for protection. These vaccines include:

• Pneumococcal

• Influenza

• Rotavirus

• Meningococcal

• HPV (human papillomavirus)

Recommended ages and schedules vary by vaccine. Please see your health care provider for additional information.

Why are shots required?

Shots provide protection against getting serious diseases to the person who receives them. Shots also help protect our friends, neighbors and communities by reducing the number of people who could get the diseases. When enough people are vaccinated, these diseases tend to stop spreading. Outbreaks of disease occur more where people are close together for a long time, such as a schools or child care.

What if a child has had Varicella (chickenpox) disease?

If a child has had varicella disease, a parent may check “yes” in the history of disease box in the varicella section of the Certificate of Immunization Status. An estimated month and year is also helpful, but is not required.

Where can I take my child for shots?

Most pediatric and family practice clinics offer shots. If your child has a regular medical provider, call their office for an appointment to get shots. If your child doesn’t have a regular provider, contact your local county health department, or call 211. They will be able to help find a clinic where your child can get shots.

Does Oregon allow exemptions?

Yes, Oregon allows two kinds of exemptions, medical and nonmedical. A medical exemption is signed by a physician or the county health department. A nonmedical exemption is signed by a parent or guardian with an attached Vaccine Education

Certificate verifying completion of education about immunizations, either from a health care practitioner or the online vaccine education module. For more information about nonmedical exemptions, go to www.healthoregon.org/vaccineexemption.

Are there immunization requirements for students who are home-schooled?

Home-schooled and students in other non-traditional educational settings need to

meet the immunization requirements if:

  1. They meet with an instructor in a school building at least five times per school year; or

  2. Participate in sports, tutoring groups, field trips or other activities through a school-sponsored program at least five times per school year.

Some online home school programs require immunization records for all enrolled students.

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