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Home Divisions Public Health Infectious Disease Bureau Immunization Immunization Requirements for Schools

School Immunization Requirements

New Mexico requires children entering day care and school to have certain immunizations completed. The publications below provide comprehensive details on these requirements.

AMENDMENT: Children under 18 months with 2 polio vaccines should be allowed to attend child care centers and pre-schools.

The New Mexico Childcare/Pre-school/School Entry Immunization Requirements for 2018-19 have an inconsistency with the ACIP Childhood Immunization Schedule. Most infants receive the third dose of polio vaccine at their 6-month visit; however, some providers administer the third dose as late as 18 months. The ACIP schedule allows for the third dose to be given between 6 and 18 months of age. Therefore, children 6 to 18 months must have 2 doses of polio vaccine, not 3 as stated on the New Mexico Immunization Requirements.

Upcoming School Immunization Requirements 2024-2025

Exemptions from School and Daycare Immunization Requirements

The New Mexico Immunization Exemption Statute (24-5-3) allows only two types of exemptions for children seeking exemption from required immunizations to enter school, childcare or pre-school. The two exemptions are medical or religious.

If there is a medical reason for exempting, a signed medical exemption must be obtained from a duly-licensed physician attesting that the required immunization(s) would endanger the life of the child.

If there is a religious reason for exempting, the child's parent/guardian must ask an officer of the church to write a letter on your behalf stating that you are a member of the church, and the church uses prayer or spiritual means alone for healing; or if access to a church officer is not possible, then the child's parent/guardian must complete the Certificate of Exemption Form.

The form requires a statement of the religious reasons for requesting to have a child exempted from immunization.

The law does not grant immunization exemptions for philosophical or personal reasons.

Once a completed, notarized, original Certificate of Exemption Form is filed with the Department of Health, the Department has up to sixty days to notify the parent/guardian if the request is approved or denied.

If approved, the parent/guardian will receive two copies of the original form with a clear “Approved” box checked, a signature from an officer of the Department, and an expiration date. The parent/guardian must take the Approved form to the child's school.

If denied, the parent/guardian will receive a letter from the Department of Health explaining that the request is denied, and that the parent/guardian has the right to file an appeal with the Department of Health Cabinet Secretary. A process for appeal will also be included.

To request an exemption, complete the following form:

County Exemption Data

School Vaccination Coverage Rates

Back to School Flyer

The School Immunization Requirements Back to School Flyer can be posted by schools to inform parents of the need to have their child's immunizations up-to-date in order to enroll in school.

Gatekeeper Training

The Gatekeeper Training is for school personnel to learn how to assess student's immunization records. Visit the Gatekeeper Training page to get started online.

School Self-Reporting Immunization Survey

All New Mexico schools with a Kindergarten and/or 7th grade are required to submit a survey summarizing the immunization status of their Kindergarten and 7th grade students by November 1 of each year. The following worksheets have been developed to assist schools who need to hand tally their students' immunizations.