As of Jan. 1, 2016, parents may no longer obtain a personal belief exemption to 10 school-required vaccinations. As of July 1, 2016, students must meet the vaccination requirements at certain vaccination check points, unless they have a medical exemption or are attending school at home or independently with no classroom instruction.
What does the law say?
Private or public child care centers, preschools, elementary schools and secondary schools cannot admit children unless they are immunized against 10 diseases: diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae type b (bacterial meningitis), measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, rubella, tetanus, hepatitis B and chicken pox.
What did the law change?
The law eliminated the personal belief exemption for required vaccinations. The law also overrides an allowance for religious exemptions to vaccinations.
Are there exemptions to the new law?
Yes, there are two: a medical exemption and an exemption for students who are enrolled in homeschooling or independent study without classroom instruction.
- Medical Exemption: Young children and students may obtain a written medical exemption to vaccinations from a licensed physician medical doctor (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) The statement from the doctor must say:
- That the physical condition or medical circumstances of the child, which may include family medical history, are such that the required immunization(s) is not indicated
- Which vaccines are being exempted
- Whether the medical exemption is permanent or temporary
- The expiration date, if the exemption is temporary.
What are the options for parents who do not want to have their children vaccinated?
Parents who do not want to vaccinate will have two options for their kindergartners and seventh graders starting in fall 2016: obtain a medical exemption to vaccinations or enroll in homeschooling or independent study without classroom instruction.