Immunizations against childhood diseases are required by Mississippi law in order to enter school, Head Start, or day care. Specific vaccinations are also recommended for students entering high school or college.
The Mississippi State Department of Health provides all necessary immunizations at low cost. Immunizations are free if you qualify for the Vaccines for Children program.
Who needs immunizations?
- Children and newborns: Childhood immunizations are recommended from birth through 18 months, with other vaccinations possible up to 18 years of age. See the Immunization Schedule for complete details.
- Adolescents: Vaccinations targeted specifically to adolescents and teenagers include those against meningococcal disease and HPV.
- College Students: College immunization requirements are established by the Mississippi Institute of Higher Learning. Students should check with the college for required immunizations. Certain vaccines are specifically recommended for young adult ages 19 through 26.
- Adults: Adults need periodic booster shots and immunization against diseases such as hepatitis. See the Adult Immunization Schedule for details. More vaccine information for adults
- Travelers: International travelers should contact their local health office about recommended immunizations before departure. Also see our Travelers' Information Pages.
What do we immunize against?
Our childhood vaccinations include:
- Hepatitis B
- Diphtheria, Tetanus and Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
- Hib (Haemophilus influenzae Type b)
- Childhood Pneumonia
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella
- Meningococcal Meningitis
- Chicken Pox (Varicella)
For a complete list of recommended immunizations and when they should be given, see Children's Immunization Schedules.
Required Immunizations and Schedules
Certain immunizations are required for entering K-12 schools or daycares in Mississippi unless an exemption is provided.
Immunization schedules indicate the appropriate ages for required and recommended vaccines for children and adults.
A child may be exempted from immunizations for medical or religious reasons. Exemption requests should be submitted to our Immunizations Office.
Where to Get Immunizations
Childhood immunizations are widely available from:
Are Immunizations Safe?
In the vast majority of cases, vaccines are effective and cause only mild reactions such as fever or soreness at the injection site. Very rarely, people experience more serious side effects, like allergic reactions. Comprehensive studies have found no link between immunization and conditions such as asthma, diabetes or autism spectrum disorder.
MyIR is an online service that lets individuals view their immunization records that we maintain, including those of their children. You can also print Form 121, required for school entry in Mississippi. Get started by registering with MyIR.
The Immunization Registry
Our Immunization Registry program records immunizations received by individuals from public clinics and participating private doctors. Health professionals can electronically report immunizations to the Registry.
To learn more about immunizations or to schedule immunizations for your child, contact a county health department near you, or call 601-576-7751.