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Immunization: Registration & Enrollment

Immunizations

New Mexico state statute requires all students be currently immunized before entrance into public school. The school or licensed school nurse shall instruct appropriate personnel in the procedure of recording immunizations in the student’s Cumulative Health Record.

Each school shall maintain a record of the immunization status of each student enrolled and report to the New Mexico Department of Health the names of students who are not current in accordance with New Mexico statute. Schools shall prevent the continued school attendance of any child whose parents/legal guardians fail to comply with this statute.  Students who are not in compliance with immunization law shall be disenrolled from school.

The school nurse or designee shall review immunization records and notify the principal of those students who are not current with their immunizations. The principal or designee shall inform parents/legal guardians if a child cannot be enrolled or may be disenrolled because of non-current status.  The principal, school nurse or designee shall make every effort to assist the family to meet the requirements of New Mexico state law.  Any or all of the following actions may be taken to assist the family:

  • If the student is enrolling as a new student in the Albuquerque Public Schools, he/she shall bring a copy of his/her immunization record. 
  • If the student is enrolling as a new student in Albuquerque Public Schools and does not have health records, the school the student is enrolling in shall call the last school attended and ask the records be sent, or allow the parent/legal guardian to do this from the school location.  Verbal confirmation from the previous school of specific immunizations having been given shall be considered “in process” until records are received from the previous school.
  • Encourage the parent/ legal to make an appointment for immunization with their private physician and allow them to use a school telephone if necessary.  A student with a confirmed appointment shall considered “in process” until the business day after the appointment date.
  • If a currently enrolled student immunization is about to expire, the school nurse or designee shall contact the parent/legal guardian using numerous methods, beginning several months ahead of expiration date.

Students transferring from other school districts shall be subject to the same immunization requirements as all other students upon enrollment.

Forms necessary for recording immunizations and forms for parents/legal guardians showing immunization requirements shall be delivered by school nurses or designees to schools prior to pre-registration.

Exemptions

Medical Exemptions

Parents/legal guardians may submit official records, signed by the student’s medical care provider, for medical exemptions from immunizations to the school nurse or designee. Exemptions signed by chiropractors or naturopaths (ND) shall not be acceptable. The provider's statement shall be placed in the confidential school Cumulative Health Record.

Acceptable reasons for medical exemption include, but are not limited to:

  • Allergy to a component of the vaccine
  • Immunosuppression when live vaccine is needed
  • History of severe/adverse reaction

Unacceptable reasons for medical exemption include, but are not limited to:

  • Lack of date verification available
  • Vaccine(s) given outside of allowable grace period or dosing guidelines

If the school nurse has any question regarding a medical exemption note, the nurse may contact the Regional Health Officer of the New Mexico Department of Health.

Conscientious Objection

Parents/legal guardians who have an objection to immunization of their children based upon a religious belief may submit a formal written request for exemption through the Public Health Division – Immunization Program of the State Department of Health. The parents/legal guardians and the school shall be notified if the exemption was approved or disapproved. Students may be conditionally enrolled pending the decision.

Parents/legal guardians shall apply for a Certificate of Religious/Conscientious Objection to Immunization before the start of each academic year.  This form may be obtained from the Department of Health website or the Immunization Program:

NM Department of Health
PO Box 26110
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502-6110.

Military Children

Please refer to the “Military Children Procedural Directive” for more information regarding the process for military children to submit immunization records.

Current Immunization Requirements

Immunization requirements may change from academic year to academic year.  Please refer to the New Mexico Department of Health website, State School Health Manual or the Albuquerque Public Schools website for the most current immunization requirements.  Questions regarding the most current requirements may be directed to the licensed school nurse assigned to each school or Nursing Services.

Immunization records shall to be brought to the school where they shall be copied, placed in the student’s Cumulative Health Record, recorded in SchoolMax and the original returned to the parent/legal guardian. The principal shall designate the person(s) in his/her school to receive and copy records at times when a nurse or health assistant is not available.

Students may obtain their needed immunizations/vaccines from a private physician, clinic, family health center, the Salud Managed Care Organization (MCO) designated primary care provider, or other community clinics.

Administrative Position:    

  • Assistant Superintendent for School and Community Support

Department Director:    

  • Manager of Nursing Services

References

Legal Cross Ref.:

  • §24-5-1 NMSA 1978

Board Policy Cross Ref.:

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:

NSBA/NEPN Classification: JLCB

Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
Revised: April 1999
Revised: January 2007
Reviewed: September 24, 2010
Reviewed: October 11, 2010
Revised: October 15, 2010

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