Superintendent's Memo #015-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

January 23, 2009
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: New Immunization Requirement for the 2009-2010 School Year

Beginning with the 2009-2010 school year, a complete series of three doses of Human Papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) is required for female students (COV § 32.1-46). The first dose shall be administered prior to entering the sixth grade. Unlike any other required vaccine, after reviewing educational materials approved by the Board of Health, the parent or guardian, at the parent’s or guardian’s sole discretion, may elect for the child not to receive the HPV vaccine.

Parents/guardians of rising sixth-grade girls are requested to provide the school with documentation of HPV vaccine administration if the student receives the immunization. If the parent/guardian opts not to have his/her daughter vaccinated, the school division should not require parents/guardians to sign a waiver form and no documentation is needed. Sixth-grade girls who do not have proof of HPV vaccine administration should not be excluded from school. These guidelines apply only to the HPV vaccine.

Printed materials will be provided to each school division in early March, to be sent home with all current fifth-grade girls. This informational flier has been approved by the Virginia Board of Health and includes information on Human Papillomavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a letter from Dr. Karen Remley, commissioner of health.

A complete list of all immunizations required for school entry is available in School & Day Care Minimum Immunization Requirements, Virginia Department of Health,

Should you have further questions, please contact Tia Campbell, school health specialist, at 804-786-8671 or