Vaccination Coverage Among Children in Kindergarten - United States, 2014-15 School Year

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Aug 28;64(33):897-904. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6433a2.


State and local jurisdictions require children to be vaccinated before starting school to maintain high vaccination coverage and protect schoolchildren from vaccine-preventable diseases. State vaccination requirements, which include school vaccination and exemption laws and health department regulations, permit medical exemptions for students with a medical contraindication to receiving a vaccine or vaccine component and may allow nonmedical exemptions for religious reasons or philosophic beliefs. To monitor state and national vaccination coverage and exemption levels among children attending kindergarten, CDC analyzes school vaccination data collected by federally funded state, local, and territorial immunization programs. This report describes vaccination coverage estimates in 49 states and the District of Columbia (DC) and vaccination exemption estimates in 46 states and DC that reported the number of children with at least one exemption among kindergartners during the 2014-15 school year. Median vaccination coverage* was 94.0% for 2 doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine; 94.2% for the local requirements for diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP); and 93.6% for 2 doses of varicella vaccine among the 39 states and DC with a 2-dose requirement. The median percentage of any exemptions† was 1.7%. Although statewide vaccination coverage among kindergartners was high during the 2014-15 school year, geographic pockets of low vaccination coverage and high exemption levels can place children at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases. Appropriate school vaccination coverage assessments can help immunization programs identify clusters of low coverage and develop partnerships with schools and communities to ensure that children are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Chickenpox Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Healthy People Programs
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Schools
  • United States
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*


  • Chickenpox Vaccine
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine