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History of the Wisconsin student immunization law

The Wisconsin Student Immunization Law was passed in 1975 establishing required doses of vaccines for children in all Wisconsin schools and licensed day care centers. The statute (Chapter 252) and administrative rule (HFS 144) have been amended numerous times. Below is summary of the changes and the month and year they became effective.

The most current statute can be found at Wisconsin Statute 252.04 (Exit DHS). The Immunization portion can be found on page 2 of the document.)

July
1975
  • Polio, DTP and measles required at Kindergarten (K) entrance and licensed day care centers.
  • Parents could sign "intent" to immunize.
  • Waivers for religious and health reasons available.
May
1980
  • Polio, DTP and measles requirement expanded to grades K through 12.
  • Rubella added, required in grades K through 6 (through age 11 years) and licensed day care center.
  • Schools and day care centers notify local district attorney of non-compliant students. DA petitions court to order compliance or possible fine up to $25 per day.
  • Personal conviction waiver added.

April
1982
  • Rubella requirement expanded to grades K through 12.
  • Mumps added, required at Kindergarten entrance and licensed day care centers.
May
1988
  • Mumps requirement expanded to grades K through 12.
May
1990
  • Second dose of MMR required in grades K, 6 and 12. Phased-in to all grades by 1996.
  • Mandatory exclusion of non-compliant children in grades K through 5 if the previous year’s school district compliance level falls below 99% (beginning in July 1995).
  • Parent of non-compliant students issued 2 legal notices.
May
1992
  • Indemnification of physicians covering public health clinics.
April
1996
  • Annual legislative report required by DHS.
June
 1997
  • Hepatitis B added, required in grades K and 7 and licensed day care centers. Phased-in to all grades by 2004.
  • Hib added, required in licensed day care centers.
  • One dose of DTaP after the 4th birthday required.
  • Release of immunization information without parental consent between providers and schools or day care centers.
May
2001
  • Varicella added, required at Kindergarten entrance and licensed day care centers. Phased-in to all grades by 2006.
  • Clarify one dose of DTaP after the 4th birthday for K entrance only.
  • 2-dose hepatitis B formulation is acceptable.
  • The age range requirement found in table HFS144.04-A (administrative rule) that was 5 months through 11 months is changed to 5 months through 15 months. In addition, the age range requirement in the same table that was 12 months through 23 months is changed to 16 months through 23 months. The vaccines and doses required stayed the same. This change brings the table in alignment with the current ACIP recommendations for MMR vaccine.
August
2003
  • 4-day grace period added, applies to age dependent vaccines.
February
2008
  • 2nd dose of Varicella required at grades K5 (5 year old), 6, and 12. Phased-in to all grades by 2013.
  • Tdap added, required for students entering grades 6, 9, and 12. Phased-in to all grades by 2010.
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) added, required in licensed day care centers.
  • DHS may temporarily suspend a vaccine requirement if there is a shortage of that vaccine.
  • "Written evidence of immunization" to include electronic record (i.e. registry) as well as paper record.

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Last Revised: March 26, 2014