Vaccines prevent disease and save lives
Vaccines work with the body's natural defenses to help it safely develop immunity to a disease. Childhood vaccines offer life-saving protection from many very serious diseases. Learn more about diseases preventable by vaccination.
Protect our community through vaccination
Immunization not only protects a person from serious diseases, it also protects the health of the community. Preventing disease through vaccination protects people who are too young to be vaccinated, and in rare instances, people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, or people who do not respond to vaccines. Immunization can also help stop or slow the spread of disease outbreaks, though outbreaks of many diseases have disappeared due to immunization.
It is important for people of all ages to receive recommended vaccines. Since diseases prevented by vaccines are often more serious in young children, most vaccines are given first two years of life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes an annual schedule of recommended vaccines based on medical and public health data and approved by national medical associations. See CDC’s Immunization Schedules web page for more information about recommended vaccines for children, adolescents and adults.
Immunization school requirements
The Minnesota school immunization law 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). Not all recommended vaccines are included in Minnesota’s immunization school law as these requirements focus on highly infectious diseases that are more easily transmitted in a setting like school where children gather. Go to Vaccines for Infants, Children, and Adolescents for more information about school immunization requirements.
- The MDH Immunization Program is Minnesota's leading public health resource for immunization and vaccine-preventable disease information. This program administers the Minnesota Vaccines for Children program to ensure affordable vaccinations for all children. The Immunization Program also provides education and training on vaccinations for the public and health care providers.
- The Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) is a confidential immunization information system operated by the MDH Immunization Program. MIIC electronically stores immunization records for Minnesota residents. It also offers tools to support immunization practice, monitoring, and improvement. MIIC is available to authorized users, such as health care providers, public health agencies, child care centers, and schools.
- The 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 to MDH each year through the Annual Immunization Status Report (AISR). Go to Vaccines for Infants, Children, and Adolescents for more information about school immunization requirements.
- CDC provides a wealth of immunization resources for the public and for health care providers (see Vaccines and Immunizations). In addition, CDC publishes an annual immunization schedule, administers the federal Vaccines for Children program, and provides funding and guidance to state immunization programs.