Frequently Asked Questions
It is true that you can retrieve your child's DH 680 record, which contains the immunizations needed to attend Florida schools, through Florida SHOTS™ (State Health Online Tracking System) Florida's statewide, computerized immunization registry.
Use the following instructions to access and print a copy of your child's DH 680, Florida Certificate of Immunization, through Florida SHOTS™.
On the Florida SHOTS™ homepage under the NEW! GET YOUR CHILD'S DH 680 RECORD section; click the link electronically certified copies of Form DH 680. You will be redirected to the Get Your Child's Florida Certification of Immunization (DH Form 680) page. From there, use the following instructions to retrieve your child's certified DH 680.
- First, you must obtain a Get DH 680 Form Information sheet from your child's medical provider which will give you the State IMM Id and Certification PIN needed to access your child's DH 680 record from Florida SHOTS™.
- Enter the State IMM Id and the Certification PIN exactly as they are printed on the Get DH 680 Form Information sheet at the Get Your Child's Florida Certification of Immunization (DH Form 680) page.
- Click on the Retrieve Form button.
You will need Adobe Reader installed on your computer to open the PDF version of the certified DH 680. If you do not have it installed, you may follow the instructions on the Get Your Child's Florida Certification of Immunization (DH Form 680) page and the provided Adobe link to download the software before accessing your child's form.
You may encounter errors when trying to obtain your child's record. If an error is received, the error message(s) will be displayed between the Certification PIN field and the Retrieve Form button on the Get Your Child's Florida Certification of Immunization (DH Form 680) page. If you receive an error message, clicking the More Optional Instructions link below the Retrieve Form button will display a page explaining the error in detail and how to address it. If you cannot address an error using the directions provided on this page, please contact the Florida SHOTS™ Help Desk at (877) 888-7468.
When will the new requirement for the polio (IPV) vaccine series be required for entry into kindergarten?
- Effective for the 2012/2013 school year, the final dose of the IPV vaccine must be administered on or after the student's 4th birthday for entry into kindergarten.
- A 5th dose is required If the 4th dose was administered prior to the 4th birthday.
- A 4th dose is not necessary if the 3rd dose was administered on or after the 4th birthday.
- Students in grades 1 through 12 do not have to be recalled if all 4 polio doses were administered prior to 4th birthday. This requirement applies only to students entering kindergarten, effective for school year 2012/2013.
What is the process for providing parents/guardians with a Form DH 681, Religious Exemption from Immunization?
- The CHD will provide a Form DH 681 to a parent/guardian, if requested due to their objection to immunizations for religious tenets or practices.
- The electronically signed Form DH 681 can be accessed by the CHD in Florida SHOTS (Florida State Health Online Tracking System) for the parent/guardian to take to the school.
- The CHD can/should point out the specific language on the Form DH 681 and also referenced in Section 1003.22, Florida Statute (FS) that: children identified as not being immunized against any communicable disease that is present in a Florida school, preschool or childcare facility shall be temporarily excluded for a time specified by the CHD director or administrator.
- No other information or procedures should be requested of the parent/guardian for obtaining the Form DH 681.
- The authority for this process is referenced in the following: Section 1003.22, FS; Chapter 64D-3.046, FAC, and the Immunization Guidelines Florida Schools, Childcare Facilities and Family Daycare Homes, Effective July 2011.
I have moved and have incomplete immunization records for my children. I have a record card with their vaccination history on it, but have been told I need another form before they can attend a Florida school. What form do I need, and how can I get one?
The form you are referring to is the Form DH 680, Florida Certificate of Immunization (previously known as the "Blue Card"). This form is required for any child entering Florida schools (public or private, K-12), pre-schools, childcare facilities, or family daycare homes. You can take your record card to your healthcare provider or County Health Department (CHD) to have your child's immunization history transferred to the Form DH 680.
I am trying to obtain a current and accurate immunization record for my child and am having difficulty in doing so. I know there are immunization requirements for children entering the Florida school system, but I have no record of any shots. What steps should I take to ensure that my child is properly immunized and can attend school?
If you know the name of your child's previous healthcare provider, that would be the best place to start. Your child's doctor should have a record of the immunizations given. This record could be transferred to a current healthcare provider or county health department and any additional vaccines needed could be administered. The doctor or county health department can then issue a Form DH 680, Florida Certificate of Immunization, which will allow your child to attend a Florida school.
Florida has a statewide, computerized immunization registry, Florida SHOTS™ (State Health Online Tracking System), and vaccination records for CHD clients are available (to authorized system users only) through a central database. The registry also includes the immunization records of children receiving their immunizations from many private physicians. Healthcare providers who are authorized immunization registry users may be able to access the records for any previous immunization in the state.
If you are unable to contact a previous healthcare provider, check with the CHD for the state and county from which the child has moved. If that state has an immunization registry, you may be able to obtain a complete record from that state's health department.
If none of those avenues prove successful, you should contact your private healthcare provider or CHD for further assistance. Explain the situation to them, and they will be able to assist you following proper medical protocol.
I want to obtain a copy of my child's immunization records for my personal files. Where can I get one?
You can ask the healthcare provider who administered the immunizations to your child for a personal immunization record card. Many cards are wallet-sized and convenient to keep.
If the doctor doesn't have a card that they issue for parent's records, you may be able to ask for a photocopy of the child's official immunization record for your files.
Florida has a statewide, computerized immunization registry, Florida SHOTS™ (State Health Online Tracking System), and vaccination records for CHD clients are available (to authorized system users only) through a central database. The registry also includes the immunization records of children receiving their immunizations from some private physicians. Healthcare providers who are authorized immunization registry users may be able to access the records for any previous immunization in the state.
I recently heard that all students attending Florida colleges are required to provide proof of meningitis vaccination. Is this true?
The Florida Legislature passed a law effective January 7, 2003, that requires all students who attend a Florida college and reside on campus to receive a meningitis and hepatitis B vaccine, or submit a waiver stating that they do not want the vaccine (if the student is under 18, a parent or guardian must sign the waiver). You should contact the specific college to find out their requirements and procedures.
I have recently moved to Florida and have school-age children. What are the immunization requirements to get my children into Florida schools?
The following link will give you all of the information on Florida's immunization requirements for school entry:
Can I send my children to a public or private school in Florida without immunizations?
All children who attend Florida schools (public or private) are required to be immunized in order to protect themselves and other children from potentially harmful, and even fatal, vaccine-preventable diseases in accordance with Chapter 1003.22(4) (previously 232.032), Florida Statutes (FS), and Chapter 64D-3.046, Florida Administrative Code (FAC).
Florida's school immunization requirements are in accordance with recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The State of Florida does not grant exemptions from immunizations based on personal or philosophical reasons. However, Florida does provide a Temporary Medical Exemption (TME) for those who are in the process of completing any necessary immunizations. The TME requires an expiration date after which the exemption is no longer valid, and the immunizations must be completed before or at that time.
A Permanent Medical Exemption can be granted if a child cannot be fully immunized due to medical reasons. In this case, the child's physician must state, in writing, the reasons for exemption based on valid clinical reasoning or evidence.
A Form DH 681, Religious Exemption From Immunization, can be issued if immunizations are in conflict with the religious tenets and practices of the child's parent or guardian. This exemption can only be issued by a CHD based on established religious beliefs or practices.
Is there a website that lists clinics offering flu shots?
Visit the Immunization Program's Fight the Flu website. Our Locate a Flu Shot page includes links to Florida pharmacies that offer flu shots. You can contact your healthcare provider or local CHD regarding information on flu and pneumonia vaccines.
Where can I find information on travel vaccinations?
Information for travelers can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) travel website or find information regarding specific countries. These pages have updated information regarding travel notices and immunization recommendations.
Before visiting a foreign country, you may need to get the vaccinations and/or medications listed at the CDC's site for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases you might be at risk for at your destination. You should consult your healthcare provider to determine what you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. Travel vaccinations may be available from your local CHD.
I do not have insurance, how can I get my children's immunizations up-to-date?
The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program is a federal program that provides eligible children with all recommended vaccines at no cost. The federal government pays for the vaccines. Doctors and clinics agree to give the vaccines to children who qualify.
Children from birth through 18 years of age can receive VFC vaccine if they:
- Are enrolled in Medicaid (including Medipass and Medicaid HMOs)
- Have no health insurance
- Are an American Indian or Alaskan Native as defined by the Indian Health Services Act (25 U.S.C. 1603)
- Are underinsured*
- Who have commercial (private) health insurance but the coverage does not include vaccines.
- Whose insurance covers only selected vaccines (VFC-eligible for noncovered vaccines only).
- Whose insurance caps vaccine coverage at a certain amount, once that coverage amount is reached these children are categorized as underinsured.
*Underinsured children are eligible to receive VFC Program vaccine only through a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) or Rural Health Clinic (RHC).
If your healthcare provider is not enrolled in the VFC Program, please call your local CHD. You can also visit the Florida VFC Program website.
I do not have health insurance for my child. Who do I call?
Florida KidCare is the state's children's health insurance program for uninsured children under age 19. It includes four different parts, or programs: MediKids, Healthy Kids, Children's Medical Services, and Medicaid. When you apply for the insurance, Florida KidCare will check which program your child may be eligible for based on age and family income.
To apply for Florida KidCare, call (888) 540-5437, apply online, or print an application and instructions.