The importance of children being fully vaccinated has been highlighted in recent years by measles outbreaks across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from January 1 to April 22, 2017, 61 people from 10 states were reported to have measles, the majority of whom were not vaccinated. In response to an increased number of students who have not received immunizations necessary for school enrollment, the Vermont General Assembly eliminated the philosophical exemption in 2015. Since then, while the number of provisionally admitted students has risen slightly, the number of nonmedical exemptions have dropped, and the total number of students, (K-12) in public and independent schools who have received all their required vaccines is at the highest rate in five years.
According to Vermont law, in order to attend a school or childcare facility, students must comply with the vaccine schedule or be provisionally admitted. All provisionally admitted students must be fully immunized within six months following enrollment, or submit a signed medical or religious exemption form. Parents of students who are not in compliance with the requirements must receive a “Notice of Missing Immunizations and Provisional Admittance” that will inform them of the steps needed to comply with the law. Follow up with these parents is critical. If parents do not comply by the date set, they should receive the Notice of Exclusion and Provisional Admittance.
In addition to requirements to attend school, Vermont law also requires that all schools annually report overall immunization data. This allows students and parents, teachers and administrators, and members of the public to have access to current immunization information in their schools and schools across the state.
As the outbreaks of measles and pertussis in recent years have demonstrated, we need to work together to protect the community. Encourage parents to have their children immunized. Please let us know how the Health Department can further assist you to meet these critical health protections.
For more information and links to official forms, go to the immunization web page for school entry: http://healthvermont.gov/hc/imm/schoolentry.aspx. If you have questions, please call the Immunization Program at 802-863-7638 or 800-640-4374.
 This letter can be found here: http://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2016/11/ID_IZ_CCP_ExclusionNoticeForm.pdf