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Back-To-School Planning for Tennessee Parents Includes Updating Immunizations for Their Children

Tennessee children are currently enjoying their summer break – swimming, going to camps or just spending time outside. With students heading back to school real soon, this is a good time when parents can make sure their children are ready for back to school with up-to-date immunizations.

‘’We want all children to be safe, healthy, and ready to learn in the classroom as we get ready for another school year,” Tennessee Health Commissioner Ralph Alvarado, MD, FACP, said. “Just like school supplies and proper school attire, we know back-to-school immunizations are an important part of getting ready for another school year.”

What Parents Should Know
–  Kindergarteners and other children enrolling in a Tennessee school for the first time must provide schools with a complete, official Tennessee Immunization
Certificate before classes begin. The certificate must be signed by a qualified healthcare provider or verified by the state’s Immunization Information System.
–  All current students entering seventh grade are required to give the school a limited official Tennessee Immunization Certificate showing they have had a
booster shot for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, also called a Tdap booster.
–  Immunization requirements for college entry vary by institution, but teens who have had all recommended vaccines, including their meningitis booster, after they turn 16 and will meet all state-run college requirements.

Immunizations are available from most healthcare providers across the state, including county health departments. The complete list of Tennessee child care and school immunization requirements can be found on TDH’s website at

Local schools and school districts can provide information about when and how parents should provide immunization certificates.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. Learn more about TDH services and programs at