Health officials claim there are still countless families in the Garden State who've fallen behind with their kids' immunization schedules in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

You're being advised to start the process of getting your kids back on track — several immunizations are required in order for your kids to attend school or childcare, and not all would be typically administered in the first few months or years of a child's life.

"Required vaccinations are based on the likelihood that you might get any of these infections at school," said Dr. Meg Fisher, a pediatric infectious disease expert with the New Jersey Department of Health.

At the same time, health professionals recommend that minors receive a number of vaccinations that are currently not on the must-have list for schools, including protection against COVID-19 and Hepatitis A.

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According to DOH, vaccines are frequently available at doctor’s offices, as well as pharmacies, workplaces, community health clinics and health departments. Recommended immunizations are covered by most health insurance plans.

Vaccination requirements vary by grade level in New Jersey. Some that are needed in preschool aren't mandatory in K-12, and vice versa. The younger the child, the more specific the timeline for immunization. Here's a breakdown of New Jersey's rules — religious and medical exemptions are permitted.

Preschool/childcare

Jupiterimages, ThinkStock
Jupiterimages, ThinkStock
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Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis, aka whooping cough (DTaP): 3 doses by 6 months, and a fourth by 18 months

Inactivated polio: 2 doses by 4 months, and a third by 18 months

Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib): 2 doses by 4 months, but if children started late with this vaccine, they may need fewer doses.

Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV 13): 2 doses by 4 months, but if children started late with this vaccine, they may need fewer doses.

MMR (measles, mumps, rubella): 1 dose by 15 months

Chickenpox: 1 dose by 19 months; vaccination is not required for children who have immunity from past infection.

Influenza: One dose due each year, for kids aged 6 months to 59 months

Note: Annual flu vaccination is not required for students in K-12.

Kindergarten and 1st grade

Three kindergarten boys standing together
Catherine Yeulet
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DTap: Any 5 doses, or a total of 4 with one of those occurring on or after the child's 4th birthday

Inactivated polio: Any 4 doses, or a total of 3 with one of those occurring on or after the child's 4th birthday

MMR: 2 doses

Chickenpox: 1 dose; vaccination is not required for children who have immunity from past infection.

Hepatitis B: 3 doses

2nd through 5th grade

Portrait of cute healthy happy school kid boy at home making homework. Little child writing with colorful pencils, indoors. Elementary school and education. Kid learning writing letters and numbers
romrodinka
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DTap/Tdap (booster): 3 doses

Inactivated polio: 3 doses

MMR: 2 doses

Chickenpox: 1 dose

Hepatitis B: 3 doses

6th grade and higher

Close Up Of A Line Of High School Students Using Mobile Phones
monkeybusinessimages
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DTaP: 3 doses

Inactivated polio: 3 doses

MMR: 2 doses

Chickenpox: 1 dose

Hepatitis B: 3 doses

Meningococcal: 1 dose given no earlier than age 10

Tdap: 1 dose

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