• Vaccine Recommendations

What vaccinations are recommended for new immigrants to the United States?

Effective December 14, 2009, the CDC revised the vaccination criteria for U.S. immigration. CDC will use these criteria for vaccines recommended by the ACIP to decide which vaccines will be required for U.S. immigration. The criteria will be used at regular periods, as needed, by CDC. The new criteria are:

  • The vaccine must be age-appropriate* for the immigrant applicant, AND at least one of the following:
  • The vaccine must protect against a disease that has the potential to cause an outbreak, OR
  • The vaccine must protect against a disease that has been eliminated or is in the process of being eliminated in the United States.

*ACIP recommends vaccines for a certain age range in the general U.S. public. These ACIP recommendations will be used to decide which vaccines are age-appropriate for the general immigrant population.

Current immigration law requires that immigrants have proof of vaccination against mumps, measles, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, meningococcal disease, pneumococcal disease, Haemophilus influenzae type B, rotavirus, varicella, influenza, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and polio. Human papillomavirus (HPV) and zoster vaccines are not required for immigrants. Additional information is available on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/immigrant-refugee-health/hcp/panel-physicians/vaccination.html.

Children adopted from outside the U.S. and political refugees are recommended to receive age-appropriate vaccination, with catch-up vaccination as appropriate, per the guidance in ACIP’s “General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization” (see www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/acip-recs/general-recs/special-situations.html). People entering the U.S. as visitors are not required to provide proof of vaccination regardless of the length of stay.

Last reviewed: August 22, 2020

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