South Dakota Codified Law 13-28-7.1 (Rev. 2016) requires that any pupil entering school or an early childhood program in this state shall, prior to admission, be required to present to school authorities certification from a licensed physician that the child has received, or is in the process of receiving, adequate immunization against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, rubeola (measles), rubella, mumps, tetanus, meningitis and varicella (chickenpox), according to the recommendations of the State Department of Health.
This law applies to ALL children entering a South Dakota school district for the first time. This would include children in early-intervention programs and preschool, as well as kindergarten through 12th grade. Children younger than four need to be age-appropriately immunized.
Minimum immunization requirements for kindergarten through 12th grade are defined as receiving at least:
- Four or more doses of diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus-containing vaccine, with at least one dose administered on or after age four. Children seven years or older needing the primary series only need three doses. Children receiving six doses before age four do not require any additional doses for kindergarten entry. The maximum a child should receive is six doses. If a child seven years or older has an incomplete DTaP primary series, please contact the Department of Health for assistance.
- Four or more doses of poliovirus vaccine, at least one dose on or after age four. (Although not the recommended schedule, if a child has three doses of polio with the third dose administered on or after the age of four and at least six months after the second dose, no other doses are required.)
- Two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR or MMRV). The minimum age for the first dose is 12 months. Administer the second dose routinely at age four through six years. The second dose may be administered prior to age four, provided at least 28 days have elapsed since the first dose.
- Two doses of varicella vaccine (Varicella or MMRV). The minimum age for the first dose of the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine is 12 months. History of disease is acceptable with parent/guardian signature. Administer the second dose routinely at age four through six years. The second dose may be administered prior to age four, provided the minimum interval between the two doses is three months.
Additional Requirements for Sixth-Grade Entry
- One dose of Tdap is required for sixth-grade entry IF the child is 11 years old. If the child is 10 years old when entering sixth grade, they have 45 days after their 11th birthday to receive the Tdap vaccination. If a child has a contraindication to Tdap, Td is acceptable. If a child aged seven through nine years receives a dose of Tdap as part of a catch-up series, an adolescent Tdap vaccine dose must be administered by the 45th day following the child’s 11th birthday. A dose given at age 10 will count for the sixth-grade Tdap requirement. If a child seven years or older has an incomplete DTaP primary series, please contact the Department of Health for assistance.
- One dose of meningococcal vaccine (MCV4) is required for sixth-grade entry IF the child is 11 years old. If the child is 10 years old when entering sixth grade, they have 45 days after their 11th birthday to receive the meningococcal vaccine. If a child receives a dose at age 10 or after, the dose does not need to be repeated.
NOTE: Hib, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, HPV, annual Influenza, and Pneumococcal vaccines are recommended but not required.
Legal alternatives to minimum immunization requirements are defined, and the means for appropriate certification is provided for, on the face of this document. There are no other exemptions.
Contact the South Dakota Department of Health, Immunization Program, at 1-800-592-1861 (in SD only), or email with your questions. Check this schedule from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a complete listing of recommended immunizations.