School Immunization Survey Data

Vaccination is a medical intervention with direct benefits to both individuals and communities. When a large percentage of a population is vaccinated, the entire community (vaccinated and unvaccinated) receives additional protection from vaccine preventable diseases. This concept, known as 'herd immunity,' is the primary justification for mandatory vaccination policies in the United States. By following the recommended schedule and fully immunizing children on time, parents protect their children against 14 vaccine preventable diseases. If a high enough percentage of children are vaccinated, outbreaks can also be prevented.

Required Immunizations for School and Child Care

In the U.S., all states require children attending public school or state-licensed childcare facilities to receive a series of vaccinations. Vaccination requirements for school and childcare attendance are critical to ensuring high rates of vaccination. Linking vaccination with school attendance, which is also required by law, ensures that vaccines reach the greatest number of children. Schools are a prime venue for the transmission of vaccine-preventable disease, and active school-age children can further spread disease to their families and others with whom they interact.*
Specific vaccine requirements for school and childcare vary by state. The Connecticut immunization laws and regulations can be found on the Department of Public Health’s web page. In CT, school and childcare programs are responsible for ensuring that attendees meet the vaccine requirements. Children who do not meet vaccine requirements can attend school if they have received all vaccines for which they are eligible and are on a catch-up schedule or have a physician’s note verifying an appointment to receive vaccines is scheduled.

Immunization Survey

Each year the Connecticut Department of Public Health Immunization Program conducts education-based immunization surveys, including the pre-kindergarten** (pre-K) through 12th grade school survey. These immunization surveys are used to determine the extent to which children, adolescents, and young adults in education in Connecticut are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. They collect school-level data on the number of attendees who have received required vaccines and the number who have submitted documentation to claim an exemption. Individual vaccine information on each student is not collected.
Data presented here are on completion of school-entry mandated vaccine series for children enrolled in kindergarten and 7th grade, on mandated influenza vaccination for children enrolled in pre-K, and on vaccination exemptions (medical and religious) for all children enrolled in grades pre-K through 12. School-mandated vaccine series for students enrolled in kindergarten are inactivated polio, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis), MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), hepatitis B, varicella and hepatitis A. Additional mandated vaccines for students enrolled in 7th grade include meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis). Influenza vaccine is a requirement for pre-K students who are 24 through 59 months of age. For each required vaccine children are categorized as either compliant or not compliant. These categories are not intended to be legal terms, but a simplified measure for survey purposes. Students are counted as compliant if they have submitted proof of immunity, such as vaccination records, or have submitted a valid exemption. Students are counted as not compliant if they have not submitted documented proof of immunity, are on a catch-up schedule, or have a doctor’s note verifying a scheduled appointment to receive vaccines.
Typically survey results for the current school year are available by the fall of the following year.

Highlights for 2021-2022 School Year

The COVID-19 pandemic began in the last quarter of 2019 and continued into the 2021-2022 school year. The pandemic led to large scale school disruption and closures during the 2020-2021 school year and these impacts could still be felt into the following academic year.
The percentage of Connecticut kindergarten students receiving required MMR vaccines in the 2021-2022 school year is 95.7%. This is an increase of 0.4% from the previous year and the highest single year increase since 2012–2013. For public schools, the MMR rate is 96% and for private schools it is 90.8%. To achieve herd immunity for measles, 95% of the population must be vaccinated or have had the disease.*** Of the schools with more than 30 kindergarten students, 119 schools have MMR rates below 95%, 45 of which have MMR rates below 90%. Both of these measures have decreased compared with the previous year.
The COVID-19 pandemic likely impacted the ability of the schools to collect information needed to complete surveys, which would increase the number of students out of compliance and counted as unvaccinated. For example, during the 2020-2021 school year the percentage of Connecticut kindergarten students out of compliance for MMR vaccine was 2.1%, an increase of 0.8% over the prior year. During 2012 to 2019, the percentage of students out of compliance with MMR vaccine ranged from 1.0-1.3% and remained relatively consistent with fluctuations typically only 0.1% from year to year. For the 2021-2022 school year, the percentage of students out of compliance with MMR vaccine decreased slightly (by 0.1%) compared with the previous year but has still not rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.
The percentage of kindergarten students with a religious exemption decreased from 2.3% the previous two years to 2.1%. The national average during 2020-21 for non-medical exemptions is 2.3%**** . The percentage of kindergarten students with a medical exemption also increased slight compared with last year, to 0.3%, but is within the range of fluctuation of 0.1% seen during the past decade.

Public Act (PA) 21-6, effective upon passage on April 28, 2021, amended current statute as relates to vaccine exemptions in Connecticut. Children who were enrolled in kindergarten and who had a valid religious exemption on file at the time of passage were allowed to keep their exemptions for their remaining school years (through grade 12). Therefore, during the 2021-2022 school survey, the only children likely impacted by PA 21-6 were students enrolled or enrolling in pre-K. There was a 2.1% decrease in religious exemptions for pre-K students during the 2021-2022 school year compared with the previous year. This represents the largest single year decrease during the past five years.
More information on immunization law in Connecticut, including PA 21-6 can be found on our Immunization Laws and Regulations web.
State Immunization and Exemption Rates
Click here to see State-level annual pre-K through 12th grade survey results for kindergarten, seventh grade, and influenza vaccine for pre-K.
County Immunization and Exemption Rates
Click here to see County-level annual pre-K through 12th grade survey results for kindergarten, seventh grade, and influenza vaccine for pre-K.
School Tables
Includes annual pre-K through 12th grade survey results for each reporting school. You can look up individual schools to see immunization rates, exemption rates, and other related information.  Results for schools with less than 30 students are not shown in the tables.