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North Carolina Immunization Branch

The N.C. Immunization Branch promotes public health through the identification and elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases like polio, hepatitis B, measles, chickenpox, whooping cough, rubella (German measles), and mumps. In 2001, the Branch incorporated an adult education component into the program to raise awareness of the agelessness of immunizations.

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The N.C. Immunization Coalition has launched its new website at https://letsimmunizenc.org

Immunization Deadlines for Back to School Temporarily Extended

Executive Order 156, dated August 12, 2020, provides an extension to North Carolina’s proof-of-immunization requirement deadlines for students enrolled in public, private or religious educational institutions, including childcare facilities, K-12 schools, and colleges and universities.

North Carolina G.S. 130A-155(a) requires proof of required immunizations within 30 days of the first date of attendance of school. Executive Order 156 extends the 30-day ‘grace period’ for all students to begin on October 1, 2020, or the child’s first date of attendance, if that happens after October 1, 2020.

The immunization requirements apply to all children in North Carolina, regardless of the type of school setting, whether children are home-schooled or attend school in-person or by remote learning, they are required by state law to be immunized based on their age for certain vaccinations as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Families are strongly encouraged to obtain the appropriate immunizations on a timely basis. The temporary extension of immunization deadlines will provide needed flexibility for families and immunization providers to work together to ensure that all children in North Carolina are properly protected against all vaccine-preventable diseases during the 2020-21 school year.

If a certificate of immunization is not presented by October 1, 2020 (or the child’s first date of attendance if after October 1), the principal or operator shall give a notice of deficiency to the parent, guardian, or responsible person. The parent, guardian or responsible person shall then have 30 calendar days to obtain the required immunization(s) for the child.

If a child or adolescent does not have the appropriate documentation after 30 calendar days, the student shall be excluded from school (including in-person and remote learning) until compliant with the requirements.

Immunizations required for entry into Kindergarten, 7th grade and 12th grade, can be found at the following link: K-12.

Effective August 1, 2020, a booster dose of Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MenACWY) to protect against meningococcal disease is required for all students entering the 12th grade or by 17 years of age, whichever comes first.

Revised Medical Exemption Statement and Physician’s Request for Medical Exemption Forms

NCIP providers have been notified of important revisions to the Medical Exemption Statement Form (DHHS-3987) and the Physician’s Request for Medical Exemption Form (DHHS-3995). Providers should begin using the revised forms effective August 3, 2020. Please discard or recycle any previous editions of these forms and only use the updated versions with an “08/20” revision date. The memo and forms can be found on the NC Exemptions page and the Memos page.

2020 Pink Book Series

CDC is offering a series of weekly one-hour web-on-demand videos that will provide an overview of vaccination principles, general best practices, immunization strategies, and specific information about vaccine-preventable diseases and the vaccines that prevent them. There is no registration process to view the sessions. The link to each course can be accessed on/after the indicated date. Please visit the Pink Book series page for the schedule and additional information. Continuing Education (CE) will be available for each event.

July is Adolescent Immunization Month

Governor Roy Cooper has signed a proclamation, declaring July 2020, Adolescent Immunization Awareness Month.

COVID-19

Parents are understandably nervous about taking their children and adolescents to doctors’ offices and health departments right now. Unfortunately, as a result, childhood vaccination rates are dropping dangerously according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public health and immunization organizations emphasize the importance of continued routine vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read the following advice/recommendations on maintaining immunization schedules during this time: Vaccine Advice During COVID-19

We are bringing the Vaxx Facts newsletter back. The new Spring 2020 edition

Immunization Branch Contacts

The Immunization Branch within the Women's and Children's Health Section of the Division of Public Health continues to be open for business during the COVID-19 Pandemic response. We understand many businesses are practicing social distancing as recommended by CDC to limit the number of employees within the workplace and maintain a healthy work environment. During this time, providers may continue to place vaccine orders; however, please do not place an order if your office vaccine coordinator or back-up coordinator will not be available to accept orders, or if your office will close within the next two weeks.

Reminder, if you have storage and handling questions, please contact our storage and handling staff at (919) 707-5574. Please leave a message if you do not reach anyone and someone will return your call as soon as possible. You may also find additional storage and handling resources on our website ( Storage Resources). If you have a clinical question, please call our clinical nurse on-call number at (919) 707-5575. Please leave a message if you do not reach anyone and someone will return your call as soon as possible. If you need assistance with a vaccine order, vaccine inventory questions or questions about the North Carolina Immunization Registry (NCIR), please contact our Helpdesk number at (919) 707-5588 and leave a message or send us your question by email at NCIRHelp@dhhs.nc.gov. You may also contact your regional nurse ( RIN map) or regional immunization consultant ( RIC map) if you need assistance.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. We will make every effort to respond as quickly as possible.

For the latest information about COVID-19 in North Carolina, please see Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response in North Carolina.

2020 Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved the 2020 Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule for Ages 18 Years or Younger. The 2020 child and adolescent immunization schedule summarizes ACIP recommendations, including several changes from the 2019 immunization schedule, and can be found here 2020 Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule.

Flu resources from CDC

Getting your flu shot, find out how to avoid shoulder injury with intramuscular injections here!

Vaccine Administration: As influenza season approaches and mass flu programs may be occurring in your jurisdiction, now is a great opportunity to remind providers to ensure staff who provide vaccines know how to do them right. ISD has developed tools for our awardees and partners to share with members of their health care community. These products educate and remind providers about proper influenza (flu) vaccine administration technique to help avoid shoulder injuries and other adverse events. The materials include links to comprehensive vaccine administration information, a short video on the correct technique for intramuscular injection, an infographic on administering flu vaccine to an adult, and a link to our vaccine administration e-Learn.

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Updated: September 9, 2020