About the School Immunization data

  • The number and percent of kindergartners that are up-to-date for each of the five required vaccines for kindergarten enrollment. Required kindergarten vaccines include diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP); polio; measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); hepatitis B; and varicella (chickenpox) vaccines.
  • The number and percent of kindergartners who may not have received all of their required school immunizations because they are either, missing vaccinations, in the process of completing an immunization series, or have a legal medical or non-medical exemption.
  • The vast majority of children have received the required immunizations by the time they get to kindergarten. However, some schools and school districts have lower immunization rates creating holes that leave students vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • To identify communities with low immunization rates, which can help when working with local partners to provide reliable information about vaccines, determine any barriers preventing vaccination, and evaluate efforts to increase immunization rates.
  • To target outreach and public health messages in communities with lower vaccination rates to increase protection.
  • To ensure that schools in Minnesota are enforcing the school immunization law.
  • The vaccination status of individuals. Only aggregated grade level data is reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
  • Why students are not up-to-date. Some students may not be vaccinated because:
    • They lack easy access to health care,
    • Their parents choose not to vaccinate, or
    • They have been vaccinated but have not submitted the proper documentation to their school health staff.
  • The coverage rates for vaccines that are not required under the Minnesota immunization law, such as the influenza and HPV vaccines.
  • School Immunization Law in Minnesota requires all students enrolled in grades kindergarten through 12 to show they have received certain immunizations or an exemption.
  • Schools are required to report immunization data to MDH each year through the Annual Immunization Status Report (AISR).
  • School health staff use several different sources for student vaccination data, such as health care provider vaccination records, the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC), parent supplied vaccination records, and vaccination records from other schools a child has attended.
  • Percent vaccinated is calculated by dividing the number of kindergartners who have received all required vaccine doses, by the total number of enrolled kindergartners.
  • Percent partially vaccinated or no doses is calculated by dividing the number of kindergartners who are missing any or all vaccine doses, by the total number of enrolled kindergartners.
    • Children who have received at least one dose of a vaccines series and have documentation signed by a health care provider stating that they will complete the series within 8 months are still in compliance with the law.
    • A child who has not provided documentation of all required vaccine doses and does not have a legal exemption on file is not in compliance with the law.
  • Percent non-medical exemption is calculated by dividing the number of kindergartners with a documented non-medical exemption, by the total number of enrolled kindergartners.
  • Percent medical exemption is calculated by dividing the number of kindergartners with a documented medical exemption, by the total number of enrolled kindergartners.
  • The data are combined for three school years, and they may not reflect current immunization coverage levels in schools and communities.
  • Students who were not up-to-date when initially enrolling in school may have since been vaccinated.
  • Student vaccination records are self-reported to schools, and then schools summarize the student-level data and report grade-level data to MDH during the fall of each school year. MDH does not have the ability to verify the accuracy of the data that is being submitted by schools.
  • The vaccination status of students that have obtained a legal exemption are reported separately. Because we do not collect individual level data, we do not have information on whether these students received some or all vaccines.
  • To protect privacy, schools and school districts with three-year enrollment counts that are fewer than five kindergartners are not included.
  • Rates that are based on counts of fewer than 20 students are identified as unstable and should be interpreted with caution. The rate may change dramatically with the addition or subtraction of a single student.
  • The AISR is one of several different immunization data sets that are used to assess immunization coverage levels in Minnesota.
  • State-level immunization rates are also available from the CDC's National Immunization Survey (NIS) and the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC).
  • AISR data differ from MIIC and NIS data on several important factors including: the age group represented, method of collection, and the individual vaccines that are included. For more information regarding childhood immunization rates from MIIC and the NIS, see Childhood Immunization Coverage in Minnesota.

To learn more about immunization, contact the MDH Immunization Program. You may also view the single school year data at School Immunization Data - Minnesota Dept. of Health.