Each country around the world has its own immunization schedule. This means that when a new immigrant is coming into United States, they may not be up to date with the U.S. immunization schedule. Some vaccines are not required in other countries, or they are done on a different schedule. This is especially relevant to children.
Must all vaccine series be completed prior to US Immigration medical examination?
To meet the U.S. immigration vaccination requirements, you only have to start the series. This is the guidance from the CDC:
The vaccines from the list above that are required for a given applicant are defined in Table 1. Vaccine series have minimum age requirements and typically require months to years to complete. Therefore, it is usually not possible for applicants to receive all vaccinations for the diseases listed above prior to adjustment of status, and they are instead required to receive from the civil surgeon at least one dose of each age-appropriate vaccine listed in Table 1 for which the applicant is not currently up to date. If the applicant is up to date on the required vaccines listed in Table 1, no additional vaccines are required to be given at the time of the medical exam. The civil surgeon should counsel the applicant about the importance of completing the series of vaccines according to the recommended schedule.
The civil surgeon must review all vaccination records presented by the applicant and, if documentation appears valid, record the vaccination history and vaccines given during the medical exam on Form I-693 (Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record), according to the instructions provided by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). After administering any needed vaccines, the civil surgeon must complete Form I-693 and give it to the applicant in a sealed envelope, which the applicant will present to USCIS. A copy of the completed vaccination record in Part 2, Section 5, must also be provided to the applicant for his or her personal records.
Where can I get more information about the US Immigration Immunization Requirements and legal options for waivers or exemptions?
Our Vaccine Waiver/ Exemption for US Immigration Guide has answers to frequently asked questions regarding the requirements and the process of waivers/ exemptions. It covers the following questions:
1. What vaccines are required for US immigration?
2. Who is ACIP (Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices)?
3. How does the immigration doctor know which vaccines I have had in the past?
4. What does vaccination at an immigration medical entail?
5. If I do have a vaccine but have proof of immunity, is this an acceptable alternative to a vaccine?
6. How does the CDC determine if I have a medical contraindication to the vaccine?
7. What is a medical contraindication to vaccination for immigration purposes?
8. What happens if I have a medical contraindication to a mandated vaccine?
9. What is a "blanket waiver" for immigration purposes?
10. In what circumstances is a vaccine considered "not medically appropriate" for immigration purposes?
What if I still have questions about my options?
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