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Which Immunizations Are Required For Public School In California?

California Public School Immunizations Required for Your Child

Getting your child ready for the school year includes looking out for their health. That’s why it’s important for you to know the California public school immunizations your child needs. There are a total of six your child will need by seventh grade, according to the California Department of Public Health, but they won’t receive them all at once. Knowing which immunizations these are will help you prepare them for the upcoming school year.

Immunization Requirements for Children Starting Transitional Kindergarten or Kindergarten

Your child needs to receive five of the six immunizations before they start transitional kindergarten (TK) or kindergarten. Each immunization has different guidelines when it comes to doses, such as how many your child needs by a certain age. Talk to your local Pax Pharmacy pharmacist to know how many doses your child is ready for.

Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis

Known as DTaP for short, this immunization protects your child from:

  • Diphtheria: throat infection that can block the airway and lead to severe breathing problems
  • Tetanus: nerve disease that is the result of a toxin-producing bacteria contaminating a wound; more commonly known as lockjaw
  • Pertussis: respiratory illness that leads to severe coughing and is particularly serious for children younger than one years old; more commonly known as whooping cough

Most children don’t have to worry about getting diphtheria or tetanus thanks to the DTaP immunization, and it has also made pertussis rare among children, according to KidsHealth. Your child will receive a total of five doses of this immunization.


Polio paralyzes parts of the body by infecting the brain and spinal cord, but with the immunization that prevents polio, your child will have protection from it. Some children receive four doses of this immunization, but if your child receives one on or after their fourth birthday, three total doses are enough to protect them from polio.

Hepatitis B

The hepatitis B virus can cause a serious liver infection, but the hepatitis B immunization can protect your child from this virus. Hepatitis B is the number one cause of liver cancer in the world, according to the Hepatitis B Foundation, so make sure your child receives three doses of the hepatitis B immunization.


The varicella immunization is more commonly referred to as the chickenpox vaccine. This immunization fights the varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox. Your child can still get the chickenpox after receiving this immunization, but their case would be far less serious with the immunization than without, according to WebMD. Two doses are what’s necessary for your child to avoid a serious case of the chickenpox and attend a California public school.

Measles, Mumps and Rubella

Two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella immunization (MMR) and your child will have protection against these three illnesses that can lead to:

  • Pneumonia
  • Brain damage
  • Swollen testicles or ovaries
  • And more

Both doses must come on the day or after your child turns one years old.

Immunization Requirements for Children Starting Seventh Grade

If your child didn’t receive the varicella immunization before TK or kindergarten, they’ll have to receive their doses before they start seventh grade. The last immunization your child will need is the Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap). Tdap is a booster shot that will protect your child from everything the DTaP immunization does. Once your child is 11 years old or older, they’ll need their one dose that serves as their booster. After they receive it, they’ll be healthy and safe for school!

California Public School System’s Immunization Requirements Keep Your Child Healthy

After your child receives these immunizations, you’ll have less to worry about when you drop them off at school every day.

Contact our Duarte immunization pharmacy, Pax Pharmacy, to ask any questions you may have about these required immunizations.