Talk to Patients About: Texas School Vaccinations
By Sean Price

The first child vaccination schedule developed in the 1940s and 1950s was simple: one smallpox shot and one combined diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis shot. 


Today, that schedule contains 12 shots that protect against 16 illnesses. Early on, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relied on temporary advisory panels to help set up the schedule. In 1964, Congress created the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Most state and local health authorities — including those in Texas — follow its recommendations. 

Following the vaccination schedule builds up a child’s immunity. Parents may worry that it overloads a child’s immune system, and books and articles have argued for spacing out or holding off on some shots. But numerous studies show that refusing to follow the schedule keeps a child exposed to the danger of disease longer. Fighting off infections during a typical day at school challenges a child’s immune system more than any combination of vaccines. 

That’s why all Texas public schools (and most private schools) and colleges require students to have certain shots before they can attend the classes that start this month. Here is a simplified version of the Texas vaccine schedule for school children. You can find the full schedule for kindergarten through high school at, and for college at

There is a lot of misinformation about vaccines, so each month Texas Medicine highlights a disease that can be prevented by childhood and adult immunizations. The material is designed to help you talk to your patients, and to help them understand the benefits of vaccines. 

 Download a printable copy of the infographic below.Aug_18_TM_Vaccines2 Tex Med. 2018;114(8):46
August 2018 Texas Medicine Contents
Texas Medicine Main Page

Last Updated On

July 08, 2019

Originally Published On

July 16, 2018

Sean Price


(512) 370-1392

Sean Price is a reporter for Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. He grew up in Fort Worth and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. He's worked as an award-winning writer and editor for a variety of national magazine, book, and website publishers in New York and Washington. He's also helped produce Texas-based marketing campaigns designed to promote public health. Sean lives in Austin and enjoys hiking, photography, and spending time with his wife and two sons.

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