Questions about vaccine requirements? We can help

Shannon Barbare, Communications Specialist | 303-692-2036 |
DENVER — As a new school year begins, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reminds parents and guardians that Colorado law requires students to be vaccinated against certain diseases, unless an exemption is filed.
“Vaccine-preventable diseases are dangerous, costly and sometimes deadly,” said Lynn Trefren, chief of the department’s Immunization Branch. “As kids go back to school, check to see if they need any shots. If they do, add this to the top of your to-do list.”
The department has a number of tips and resources to help parents and guardians with vaccines:
  • Required vaccinations: To find out which vaccines are required for students entering child care/preschool, kindergarten, sixth grade and college, visit the school-required vaccines web page.
  • Vaccine records: For vaccination records, ask your health care provider or request them from the department
  • Immunization and exemption rates: Look up rates for schools and child care facilities on our data webpage.
  • Help paying for vaccines: Families with children ages 18 and younger who are uninsured, underinsured, Alaskan Native/American Indian, or on Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) may be eligible to receive free vaccines through the Vaccines for Children Program. Health care providers and local public health agencies have more information about this program.
  • Immunization policy and rules: Review Colorado immunization policy and Board of Health rules.
  • Exemptions: Check on vaccine exemptions.
While many parents are aware of the recommended vaccines for younger children, they may not know about vaccines recommended for preteens and teens, Trefren said. Adolescents ages 11 to 12 should receive tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap), human papillomavirus (HPV) and meningococcal vaccines. It’s especially important for college-age teens to talk to their health care providers about vaccines to protect them against meningitis.