We know you’re thinking of all the things you need to do to make sure your student is ready for school. Getting vaccinated is an important part of their school readiness and keeps children from catching and spreading diseases that can make them sick. We wish you and your student a healthy school year!

Required and recommended vaccines

  • Colorado law requires students who attend a public, private, or parochial kindergarten – 12th grade school to be vaccinated against many of the diseases vaccines can prevent, unless an exemption is filed. For more information, visit colorado.gov/cdphe/schoolrequiredvaccines (or cdphe.colorado.gov/schoolrequiredvaccines). Your student must be vaccinated against:
    • diphtheria, tetanus & pertussis (DTaP, DTP,Tdap)
    • polio (IPV)
    • measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
    • hepatitis B (HepB)
    • varicella (chickenpox)
  • Colorado follows recommendations set by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Students entering must receive their final doses of DTaP, IPV, MMR and varicella. Students entering 6th grade must receive one dose of Tdap vaccine, even if they are under 11 years of age. You can view recommended vaccine schedules for children 0 – 6 years of age at cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf and preteens/teens 7 – 18 years of age at cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/teen/parent-version-schedule-7-18yrs.pdf.
  • Vaccines are recommended for hepatitis A, influenza, meningococcal disease and human papillomavirus, but are not required.

Exclusion from school

  • Your student may be excluded from school if your school does not have an up-to-date vaccine record, exemption, or in-process plan for your student on file.
  • If someone gets sick with a vaccine-preventable disease or there is an outbreak at your student’s school and your student has not received the vaccine for that disease, they may be excluded from school activities. That could mean lost learning time for them and lost work and wages for you. For example, if your student has not received a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, they may be excluded from school for 21 days after someone gets sick with measles.

Have questions?

  • You may want to talk to a healthcare provider licensed to give vaccines or your local public health agency about which vaccines your student needs or if you have questions. You can read about the safety and importance of vaccines at SpreadTheVaxFacts.com, ImmunizeForGood.com, and colorado.gov/cdphe/immunization-education (or cdphe.colorado.gov/immunization-education).

Paying for vaccinations

  • If you need help finding free or low-cost vaccines and providers who give them, go to COVax4Kids.org, contact your local public health agency, or call the state health department’s Family Health Line at 1-303-692-2229 or 1-800-688-7777. You can find your local public health agency at colorado.gov/cdphe/find-your-local-public-health-agency (or cdphe.colorado.gov/find-your-local-public-health-agency).

Vaccination records

  • Please take your student’s updated vaccine record to school every time they receive a vaccine.
  • Need to find your student’s vaccine record? It may be available from the Colorado Immunization Information System. Visit COVaxRecords.org for more information.


  • If your student cannot get vaccines because of medical reasons, you must submit an official Immunization Medical Exemption Form to your school, signed by a health care provider licensed to give vaccines. You only need to submit this form once, unless your student’s information or school changes. You can get the form at colorado.gov/vaccineexemption (or cdphe.colorado.gov/vaccineexemption).
  • If you choose not to have your student vaccinated according to the current recommended schedule because of personal belief or religious reasons, you must submit a non-medical exemption to your school. Non-medical exemptions must be submitted annually at every new school year (July 1st through June 30th of the following year). The easiest way to file a personal or religious exemption is by using our online or downloadable non-medical exemption form available at colorado.gov/vaccineexemption (or cdphe.colorado.gov/vaccineexemption).

How’s your school doing on vaccinations?

  • Some parents, especially those with students who have weakened immune systems, may want to know which schools have the highest percent of vaccinated students. Schools must report immunization and exemption numbers (but not student names or birth dates) to the state health department annually. Immunization and exemption rates can be found at COVaxRates.org.

For additional information or questions, please contact the Denver East High School Nurse, Emily Gatto, RN, BSN, IBCLC at emily_gatto@dpsk12.org or via phone at 720-386-0340.

Further information, resources and documents: