The Tdap vaccine, the MenACWY (Meningococcal) vaccine, and the HPV vaccine are required for all students attending school in Virginia prior to seventh grade entry per Code of Virginia Section § 22.1-271.2
- The Tdap vaccination protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). These are serious diseases and while most students received vaccines against these diseases when they were younger, they need a “booster” to continue to protect them and people around them.
- The MenACWY (Meningococcal) vaccine protects against meningococcal disease, an uncommon but serious bacterial disease that can lead to severe, and even deadly, infection. Teens and young adults are at increased risk of this disease. A booster dose will be required before entering 12th grade.
- The HPV vaccine prevents infection from the Human Papillomavirus virus that can cause six types of cancer, including most cases of cervical cancer.
Tdap and MenACWY Requirement Details:
- You must provide proof of your student’s Tdap and MenACWY (Meningococcal) vaccinations (or proof of medical or religious exemption) to the school clinic before the first day of seventh grade.
- Tdap doses given before age 7 and MenACWY doses given before age 10 years cannot be counted
- Documented proof of Tdap and MenACWY MUST be up to date for your student to attend in-person school or activities for School Year 2023-2024.
HPV Requirement Details:
- A complete 2 dose series of HPV vaccine is required for students entering seventh grade.
- After reviewing educational materials approved by the Board of Health, the parent or guardian, at their sole discretion, may elect for their student not to receive the HPV vaccine. An exemption form or written documentation is NOT required if parent elects for their student not to receive this vaccine.
- You can find this information here, including a letter from the State Health Commissioner about the efficacy and importance of HPV: HPV information letter
Where Can I Take My Student to Receive Vaccines?
Talk to your school’s public health nurse to determine which of the following options for receiving the Tdap, MenACWY, and HPV vaccines is best for your student:
- Your student’s primary healthcare provider
- These required vaccines are typically covered by insurance plans. Make an appointment now to avoid the back-to-school rush! This is also a good opportunity for a full health assessment.
- Arlington County Immunization Clinic at 2100 Washington Blvd
- Required vaccines including Tdap, MenACWY (Meningococcal), and HPV are provided at no cost; other recommended vaccines may include a fee (see website)
- An appointment is required and wait times may vary. Days and hours of operation can be found here: Immunization Clinic – Official Website of Arlington County (arlingtonva.us)
- Your student’s middle school health clinic
- Your school’s health clinic will be providing school-based vaccination opportunities for the Tdap, MenACWY and HPV vaccines later this spring
- There is no cost to receive these vaccines at the school clinic, but eligibility and insurance status will be assessed as part of the mandatory consent process
- If vaccine is not able to be administered at the school for any reason, it remains the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that student complies with all school entry vaccine requirements
You can find additional information, including the current Virginia code and helpful FAQs at the Virginia Department of Health Website: School Requirements – Immunization (virginia.gov). Please reach out to your school’s public health nurse if you have any questions.