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Exemptions to School Entry Vaccines and Corresponding Vaccine Coverage

August 29, 2022


The first state law requiring vaccines for children entering school was passed in 1855 in Massachusetts as a response to a deadly outbreak of smallpox. By 1963, twenty states had joined Massachusetts in requiring vaccines for school entry. Today, all 50 states and the District of Columbia require vaccines for school entry, including those for MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis), polio, and varicella (chickenpox). For a single birth-year cohort (2009) of children, school entry vaccines were estimated to prevent 20 million cases of disease and 42,000 deaths.