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OSSE Encourages Families to Receive Required Immunizations

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Requirements for School Year 2022-23 include the COVID-19 vaccine for students age 12 and older.

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) today reminded families of the importance of ensuring children receive all required immunizations ahead of the 2022-23 school year.

“We want to make sure that all of our students have everything they need for a healthy start to the school year,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Christina Grant. “This means making sure children see their primary medical provider for a well-child visit and receive all needed immunizations.”

District law requires students in all DC schools, including private, parochial and independent schools, to be fully compliant with required vaccinations to attend school and that schools verify immunization certification for all students as part of enrollment and attendance.

Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, student immunization requirements include the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for all students of an age for which there is a fully approved vaccine by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), per the Coronavirus Immunization of School Students and Early Childhood Workers Amendment Act of 2021.

On July 8, 2022, the FDA fully approved the COVID-19 vaccine commonly known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 12 to 15 years old.

The approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 12 to 15 means that, unless exempted, any student age 12-15 at the start of the 2022-23 school year must have received the primary COVID-19 vaccine series or have started receiving the shot by Sept. 16, 2022.

Unless exempted, any student 16 or older at the start of the 2022-23 school year must have received the primary COVID-19 vaccination series or be proceeding with their series by the start of the 2022-23 school year.

The best place for DC families to access immunizations is at their primary medical provider as part of their comprehensive well-child care. If a family does not have a health care provider for their child, they can select one from a list of pediatric clinic locations, located in every ward. In addition, DC Health will expand access to vaccination services which include:

  • School-Based Health Centers – Families with students ages 4 and older can visit any School-Based Health Center regardless of where the student is enrolled for a vaccination-only appointment.
  • District Mobile Medical Units – DC Health has placed mobile units at schools, and additional sites at recreation centers, COVID centers, and other community locations in all eight wards will be added in August. Families can pre-register for the school-based mobile medical units by using the registration link.
  • Vaccine Exchange – Schools can use the Vaccine Exchange to request and coordinate on-site vaccination clinics with health providers.

To learn more or to find a pediatric immunization site near you, visit dchealth.dc.gov/immunizations.