Childcare and School Chickenpox Vaccine Requirements

For Public

All 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) have state laws that require children entering childcare or public schools to have certain vaccinations. There is no federal law that requires this.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that all states require children entering childcare and students starting school, college, and other postsecondary educational institutions have—

  • age-appropriate chickenpox vaccination
    • preschool-age children (age 12 months through 3 years): 1 dose
    • school-age children, adolescents, adults: 2 doses


Students in school settings have a higher chance of spreading chickenpox because they are constantly in close contact with each other.

Chickenpox vaccine prevents the disease and outbreaks in childcare settings and schools. This leads to

  • less illness and less school time missed by students, and
  • less chance of exposing people who cannot get vaccinated.

For the 2011 to 2012 school year, 36 states and DC require children to receive two doses of chickenpox vaccine or have other evidence of immunity against chickenpox before starting school.

For more information, see State Vaccination Requirements.


Page last reviewed: April 5, 2012