In Nebraska, children can’t attend classes in public or private school until the school has written proof of their immunization status (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 79-217 through 79-253).
To attend school, children in Nebraska are required to be immunized against the following diseases:
• Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis
• Measles, mumps, and rubella
• Hepatitis B
• Varicella (chicken pox)
Each school in Nebraska is required to keep the immunization history of the students enrolled on file. In addition, schools are required to report information on student’s immunization status annually to the Nebraska Immunization Program. School reporting is conducted on-line via survey, and the deadline is November 15 of each year.
Violation of these requirements is a Class V misdemeanor. Schools must report on students entering school for the first time (kindergarten or 1st grade); 7th graders; and all out-of-state transfer students (including foreign exchange students).
For complete information, please refer to Title 173 of the Nebraska Administrative Code, Chapter 3: Rules and Regulations Relating to School Health, Communicable Disease Control, and Physical Examination and Immunization Standards. Title 173 is available on the Internet.
While there are exemptions to the immunization requirements, parents need to be aware that unvaccinated children are not the only ones at risk for contracting disease. When parents choose not to immunize, their decision affects every other child in the school as well as their own child. Many immunizations require multiple doses before a child builds up full immunity, and some children are not able to be vaccinated. These vulnerable children depend upon “herd immunity” for protection.
What if You Don't Immunize Your Child?
Exemptions to the vaccination requirement include:
- A statement signed by a physician that the required immunization would be injurious to the student or members of the student's family or household.
- An affidavit signed by a legally authorized representative stating that the immunization conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized religious denomination of which the student is a member.
Students with exemptions on file may need to be excluded from school if there is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.