Immunization Laws and Regulations

Schools and Child Care Programs

New York State (NYS) Public Health Law Section 2164 and New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Title 10, Subpart 66-1 require every student entering or attending public, private or parochial school in New York State (NYS) to be immune to diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, and varicella in accordance with Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations.

Effective September 1, 2016, students entering or attending grades 7 and 12 in (NYS) must also be vaccinated against meningococcal disease in accordance with ACIP recommendations.

Every child in day care, Head Start, nursery school or prekindergarten in NYS must be immune to diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, varicella, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and pneumococcal disease.

Public Health Law Section 2164 provides for medical and religious exemptions to immunization.

Full details on school and child care immunization requirements are available at New York State Immunization Requirements for School Entrance/Attendance (PDF).

Colleges, Universities, and other Post-Secondary Institutions

NYS Public Health Law Section 2165 and NYCRR Title 10, Subpart 66-2 require students attending post-secondary institutions, who were born on or after January 1, 1957 and registered for 6 or more credit hours, to demonstrate proof of immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. Public Health Law Section 2165 provides for medical and religious exemptions to immunization.

Full details on post-secondary institution measles, mumps and rubella immunization requirements are available at New York State Public Health Law (PHL) Section 2165 Immunization Requirements for Students (PDF)

NYS Public Health Law Section 2167 requires post-secondary institutions to distribute, on a form provided or approved by the NYS Commissioner of Health, written information about meningococcal meningitis and meningococcal immunization to each student who is enrolled for at least 6 semester hours. This section also requires each such student to certify that they have already received immunization against meningococcal meningitis or that they have received and reviewed the information provided by the institution, understand the risks of meningococcal meningitis and the benefits of immunization, and have decided not to obtain the meningococcal vaccine.

Additional information on this requirement is available at Information for College/University Student Health Services.

Reporting to the Immunization Registry

NYS Public Health Law Section 2168 requires healthcare providers to report all immunizations administered to persons less than 19 years of age, along with the person's immunization history, to the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS), for immunizations administered outside of New York City (NYC) or to the Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR), for immunizations administered within NYC. In addition, Public Health Law Section 2168 requires registered nurses and pharmacists, authorized to administer immunizations, to report immunizations administered to adults ages 19 years and older to NYSIIS or the CIR upon consent of the patient. Other healthcare providers may report immunizations administered to adults to NYSIIS or the CIR upon consent of the patient.

Additional information about NYSIIS is available at New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS).

Additional information about the CIR is available on the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website at NYC Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR).

Pharmacists as Immunizers

NYS Education Law Sections 6527, 6801, and 6909 permit licensed pharmacists, who obtain an additional certification, to administer influenza, pneumococcal, meningococcal, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and herpes zoster vaccinations to adults 18 years of age and older under either patient specific or non-patient specific orders. Pharmacists who administer vaccines must report doses administered to NYSIIS or the CIR according to NYS immunization registry reporting requirements as described above. In the event that an adult aged 19 years and older does not consent to registry reporting, then the pharmacist must report such administration to the patient's primary care practitioner and must also document the dose in the annual New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Certified Immunizer Survey.

Additional information about Pharmacists as Immunizers is available at Pharmacists as Immunizers.

Immunization Laws Regarding Healthcare Facilities and Agencies

By law or regulation

  • The Regulation for Prevention of Influenza Transmission by Healthcare and Residential Facility and Agency Personnel applies to healthcare facilities and agencies licensed under Article 28 or Article 36 of the Public Health Law and any hospice established pursuant to Article 40 of the Public Health Law. The regulation requires facilities and agencies as described above to require that personnel who are not vaccinated against influenza wear a surgical or procedure mask while working in areas where patients or residents may be present during the time when the Commissioner of Health determines that influenza is prevalent. These facilities and agencies must also document the number and percentage of personnel vaccinated against influenza for the current season and provide these data to the Department upon request.
  • The Long-term Care Resident and Employee Immunization Act (PHL Article 21-A) requires long-term care facilities, adult homes, adult day healthcare facilities, and enriched housing programs to provide or arrange for influenza vaccination for all residents and employees every year. The law also requires these types of facilities to provide or arrange for pneumococcal vaccination for residents and employees for whom the vaccine is recommended per guidelines issued by the ACIP. Residents and employees may refuse vaccination after being fully informed of the health benefits and risks of such action.
  • NYCRR Title 10, Sections 405.3, 415.26, 751.6, 763.13, 766.11 and 794.3 require that all persons who work at hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic and treatment centers, certified home health agencies and programs, licensed home care services agencies, and hospices be immune to measles and rubella.
  • NYS Public Health Law Article 28, Section 2805-h requires hospitals to:
    • Determine for each patient under the age of 13 years whether all necessary immunizations have been received for poliomyelitis, mumps, measles, diphtheria and rubella and, if not, to make available such immunizations and a certificate or certificates of such immunization. Any doses administered to patients under the age of 19 years must be reported to NYSIIS, or to the CIR for immunizations administered in NYC, according to the requirements of NYS Public Health Law Section 2168.
    • Offer influenza and pneumococcal vaccines to each admitted person age 65 years or older. Influenza and pneumococcal vaccines need not be offered to people who have already received them or for whom it is otherwise inappropriate.
    • Offer Tdap vaccine to every parent, person in parental relation or other person who is reasonably anticipated to be a caregiver of a newborn being treated in the hospital. Tdap vaccine need not be offered to parents and persons in parental relation who have already received it or for whom it is medically inappropriate.
    • Offer influenza vaccine to every parent or person in parental relation who is reasonably anticipated to be a caregiver in the household of a newborn being treated in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Influenza vaccine need not be offered to parents and persons in parental relation who have already received it or for whom it is medically inappropriate.
  • NYS Public Health Law Article 28, Section 2500-e and NYCRR Title 10, Subpart 69-3 require that all pregnant women be tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) during each pregnancy and that all infants born to HBsAg-positive women be treated with hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin within 12 hours of birth, as well as follow-up hepatitis B vaccine in accordance with the schedule specified by the commissioner. Clinical laboratories must report all positive HBsAg test results to the NYSDOH. Hospitals must assure that all HBsAg test results be prominently recorded in the medical records of both the pregnant woman and her newborn child or children and must report all HBsAg test results for women with newborn children to the NYSDOH on the Newborn Screening Blood Collection Form. If, at the time of hospital admission for delivery, HBsAg test results are not available, the hospital must arrange immediate testing of the mother with results available within 24 hours, or as soon as thereafter practicable, but in no event longer than 48 hours of admission. Public Health Law Section 2500-e provides for medical and religious exemptions to immunization. Additional information about NYS Perinatal Hepatitis B requirements are available at Perinatal Hepatitis B

Laws According to Facility Type

Hospitals

Nursing Homes and Adult Day Health Care Programs

Adult Homes

Diagnostic and Treatment Centers

Certified Home Health Agencies, Long Term Health Care Programs and AIDS Home Care Programs

Licensed Home Care Services Agencies

Hospices