One of the most common concerns that I seem to run into when discussing vaccines and vaccine choice with other parents typically relates to school or daycare in some fashion. Many parents are under the impression that public school or childcare is simply not an option unless you agree to inject your child based on the schedule set forth by the CDC. Families may object to these requirements for a vast number of reasons, and being armed with the proper knowledge to stand up for your objections only benefits you (and your child) in the end.

All 50 states recognize medical exemptions, and there are only 3 states that do not acknowledge exemptions based on personal or religious convictions.

Alabama

Medical and Religious

Code Title 16-30-3 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if they conflict with religious beliefs and/or a medical authority has signed one.
The parent/guardian is responsible for drafting an exemption letter – one sample can be found here.

Alaska

Medical and Religious

Code 06.055 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if it has been determined by a medical professional (MD, DO, PA, or advanced nurse practitioner) they would be injurious to health and/or an affidavit has been signed by the parent/guardian affirming religious conflict.
The State of Alaska Exemption Form must be notarized and filed annually by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Arizona

Medical, Religious, and Personal Belief

R9-6-706 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a certified medical exemption form and/or a written statement of exemption has been provided.
The Arizona Medical Exemption Form must be used only by licensed physicians or registered nurse practitioners – it can be found here.
A Religious Belief Exemption Form must be completed by the parent/guardian of a child attending a childcare or preschool program – it can be found here.
A Personal Belief Exemption Form must be completed by the parent/guardian of a child attending Kindergarten through 12th grade. These exemptions are not applicable in childcare or preschool programs – it can be found here.

Arkansas

Medical, Religious, and Philosophical

Code Title 6-60-504 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if an MD has deemed an individual to have a physical disability which prevents vaccination and/or a religious or philosophical conflict exists.
An Arkansas Immunization Exemption Application Packet must be completed by the parent/guardian annually. The packet must be notarized – and can be found here.

California

Medical

Until 2015, both personal belief and medical exemptions were recognized by the state; but the passing of SB 277 eliminated this.
Some doctors may have become more open to filing medical exemptions for certain conditions such as family history of Celiac Disease, Eczema, allergies, and Diabetes. More information can be found here, here, and here.

Colorado

Medical, Religious, and Personal Belief

Code 25-4-903 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a licensed physician, physician assistant, or advanced nurse certify that immunizations would endanger the child’s life, and/or a statement is provided declaring a religious or personal belief conflict.
For students attending childcare or preschool, an Immunization Non-Medical Exemption Form must be submitted at 2, 4, 6, 12, and 18 months of age.
For students attending Kindergarten through 12th Grade, an Immunization Non-Medical Exemption Form must be submitted annually. This form can be found here.

Connecticut

Medical and Religious

Code Title 19a-79 (Formerly Sec. 19-43d) grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a child is medically contraindicated and/or the parent/guardian rejects them on religious grounds.
A State of Connecticut Religious Exemption Statement must be notarized and submitted before the child enrolls in school for the first time, and before entering 7th grade – this form can be found here.

Delaware

Medical and Religious

Title 14 Chapter I Subchapter II § 131 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a written statement by a physician is received and/or an affidavit of individual religious beliefs is submitted by the parent/guardian.
A Delaware Affidavit of Religious Belief must be notarized and submitted by the parent/guardian – this form can be found here.

Florida

Medical and Religious

Florida 1003.22 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if the parent/guardian objects in writing that they conflict with religious practices and/or a physician submits a medical form.
A Religious Exemption from Immunization Form (DH-681) is required – a sample of this form can be found here. The form requires a County Health Department Stamp, so you must physically visit your local health department to obtain this form. It is not mandatory to have your child(ren) with you, and giving their social security number is optional. You also do not legally have to answer any questions regarding your religion or religious beliefs.

Georgia

Medical and Religious

Title 511-2-2 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if an annual medical exemption is filed by a physician and/or a religious objection affidavit is submitted by the parent/guardian.
A Religious Objections to Required Immunization Form must be notarized and completed by the parent/guardian – this form can be found here.

Hawaii

Medical and Religious

Hawaii §302A-1156 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse certifies that immunizations would endanger the child’s life or health and/or the parent/guardian objects, in writing, to immunization based on religious conflicts.
A Religious Immunization Exemption Form must be notarized and submitted by the parent/guardian – a sample of this form can be found here.

Idaho

Medical, Religious or Other Grounds

Idaho Code 39-4802 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a medical certificate is signed by a physician licensed in the state and/or a signed statement is submitted by the parent/guardian objecting on religious or other grounds.
A State of Idaho Certificate of Exemption must be signed and submitted by the parent/guardian. Some parents may not feel comfortable signing pages one and two of the exemption form, and this is not required by law. Signing page three would be enough to fulfill the requirements of the law, it is also not required to explain your reasoning or use these exact forms at all. The state form can be found here.

Illinois

Medical and Religious

Illinois Code 695.30 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if the parent/guardian objects on religious grounds and/or a licensed physician submits, in writing, documentation that the child is medically contraindicated.
An Illinois Certificate of Religious Exemption must be submitted by the parent/guardian prior to the child entering kindergarten, sixth, and ninth grade. The form requires a health care provider’s signature – and can be found here

Indiana

Medical and Religious

Indiana Code 20-34-3 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if the parent rejects them on religious grounds and/or a physician certifies that they may be a danger to the child’s health.
An Indiana Vaccination Exemption Form must be made in writing, signed by the child’s parent/guardian, and submitted – a sample of this form can be found here.

Iowa

Medical and Religious

Iowa Code 641—7.3(139A) grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if medical reasoning has been established and/or immunization conflicts with a genuine and sincere religious belief.
An Iowa Certificate of Immunization Exemption must be notarized and signed by the parent/guardian – this form can be found here.

Kansas

Medical and Religious

Kansas Code 65-508 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a certification from a licensed physician documents that immunizations would endanger a child’s life, and/or a written statement is submitted by the parent/guardian which states that their religious denomination opposes vaccination.
A Kansas Immunization Requirements Form must be submitted by the parent/guardian – this form can be found here. Page one is the only document necessary to fulfill state law, on page two in the section labeled LEGAL ALTERNATIVES TO VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS, tick the appropriate option for your child(ren).

Kentucky

Medical and Religious

Code 902 KAR 2:060 Section 3 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a documented medical contraindication exists and/or a written sworn statement from a parent/guardian is submitted.
An Immunization Religious Exemption Form must be submitted by the parent/guardian and requires a health care provider’s signature – it can be found here.

Louisiana

Medical, Religious, and Personal Reasons

Louisiana code 17:170.1 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a waiver has been documented by the parent/guardian for religious or other personal reasons and/or a written statement has been submitted by a physician documenting medical contraindications.
A Statement of Exemption from Immunization must be drafted and submitted by the parent/guardian – samples can be found here and here.

Maine

Medical, Religious, and Philosophical

Maine code 20-A M.R.S. § 6355 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a physician’s written statement has been provided documenting the medical inadvisability of vaccination and/or the parent/guardian holds a sincere religious or philosophical belief opposed to vaccination.
An Immunization Exemption Form must be submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Maryland

Medical and Religious

Maryland code 13A.16.03.04 Section G grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a licensed physician or health officer has determined that immunization is medically contraindicated and/or immunization conflicts with a parent/guardian’s bona fide religious beliefs.
The Religious Objection section of the Maryland Immunization Certificate must be signed and submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Massachusetts

Medical and Religious

Massachusetts Title XIII Chapter 76 Section 15 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if documentation is submitted by a physician annually certifying that the child’s health would be endangered by vaccination and/or the parent/guardian states, in writing, that vaccination conflicts with sincere religious beliefs.
The parent/guardian is responsible for drafting an exemption statement – one sample can be found here and here.

Michigan

Medical, Religious or Other

Michigan Section 333.9215 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a physician certifies that immunization may be detrimental to the child’s health, and/or a parent/guardian submits a written statement declining vaccination because of religious conviction or other objection.
A Michigan Nonmedical Waiver must be filed by the parent/guardian prior to enrollment in Kindergarten and 7th grade. In 2015, Michigan instituted an administrative rule requiring parents seeking a nonmedical waiver to attend an education session at their local health department. Information about this session can be found here.

Minnesota 

Medical, Religious or Other

Minnesota 121A.15 § 3 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a statement, signed by a physician, is submitted documenting that immunizations are contraindicated for medical reasons and/or a form is submitted by the parent/guardian stating that immunizations conflict conscientiously held beliefs.
A Minnesota Student Immunization Form must be notarized and submitted by the parent/guardian. Section 2 covers immunization exemptions – the form can be found here.

Mississippi

Medical

Mississippi code 41-23-37 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education only when medical contraindications exist and have been documented by a physician.

Missouri

Medical and Religious

Missouri code 167.0181 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if medical contraindications have been documented by a duly licensed physician and/or the parent/guardian objects because of religious beliefs.
A Religious Immunization Exemption Form must be submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Montana

Medical and Religious

Montana code 20-5-405 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a form is submitted by a parent/guardian stating that immunization is contrary to religious tenets and practices and/or a written statement, signed by a physician, is submitted stating that the required immunizations are not considered safe.
A Montana Affidavit of Exemption on Religious Grounds must be notarized and submitted by the parent/guardian annually – it can be found here.

Nebraska

Medical and Religious

Nebraska Statute 79.221 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a statement signed by a physician, physician’s assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse states that the immunizations required would be injurious to health and/or an affidavit signed by the parent/guardian is submitted stating that immunization conflicts with the tenets and practice of a recognized religious denomination.
A Nebraska Refusal of Vaccination Affidavit is notarized and signed by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Nevada

Medical and Religious

Nevada Statute 392.437 and 392.439 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if the parent/guardian submits a written statement indicating their religious belief prohibits immunization and/or a written statement is signed by a licensed physician and a parent/guardian that a medical condition will not permit the child to be immunized.
A Vaccination Exemption Form must be notarized and submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

New Hampshire 

Medical and Religious

New Hampshire code 141-C:20c grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a physician certifies that immunization may be detrimental to the child’s health and/or a parent/guardian objects to immunization because of religious beliefs.
A Certificate of Religious Exemption must be notarized and submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

New Jersey

Medical and Religious

New Jersey Section 18A:61D-10 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a written statement is submitted by a licensed physician indicating that the vaccine is medically contraindicated and/or a written statement is submitted by the parent/guardian explaining how the vaccine conflicts with the bona fide religious tenets or practices.
The parent/guardian is responsible for drafting the Student Exemption from Mandatory Vaccination statement – a sample can be found here.

New Mexico

Medical and Religious

New Mexico Statute 24-5-3 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a certificate of a duly licensed physician states that immunization would seriously endanger the life of a child, and/or a written affirmation is submitted by the parent/guardian or officer of a religious denomination stating that administration of vaccines are not permitted.
A Certificate of Exemption must be notarized and submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

New York

Medical and Religious

New York State Public Health Law Section 2165 grants exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a medical exemption, written by a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner, states that a valid contraindication exists and/or a written and signed statement from the parent/guardian states that he/she objects to immunization due to religious beliefs.
The parent/guardian is responsible for drafting the New York Request for Religious Exemption to Immunization – a sample can be found here.

North Carolina

Medical and Religious

North Carolina State Statutes 130A-156 and 130A-157 grant exemption from vaccination requirements for education if a physician licensed to practice medicine certifies that a required immunization may be detrimental to a person’s health, and/or if the bona fide religious beliefs of the parent/guardian are contrary to the immunization requirements.
The parent/guardian is responsible for drafting the North Carolina Immunization Law Religious Exemption – a sample can be found here and here.

North Dakota

Medical, Religious, and Moral

North Dakota Code 23-7-17.1 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if a certificate from a licensed physician is submitted stating that immunization would endanger the life or health of the child, and/or a certificate signed by the parent/guardian is submitted stating that their religious, philosophical, or moral beliefs are opposed to immunization.
A North Dakota Certificate of Immunization must be submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Ohio

Medical, Religious, and Personal

Ohio code 3313.671 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if the parent/guardian declines immunization for reasons of conscious, including religious, and/or a physician certifies in writing that immunization is medically contraindicated.
An Ohio Legal Immunization Exemption form must be submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Oklahoma

Medical, Religious, and Personal

10 OK Stat § 10-413 (2016) grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if a certificate of a licensed physician is submitted stating that immunization would endanger the life of the child, and/or a written statement by the parent/guardian is submitted objecting to immunizations because of religious or other reasons.
An Oklahoma Certificate of Exemption must be submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Oregon

Medical, Religious, and Philosophical

ORS 433.267 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if a document signed by a physician or representative of the local health department is submitted stating that the child should be exempted from receiving specified immunizations, and/or a document signed by the parent/guardian is submitted stating that the parent is declining immunization because of a religious or philosophical belief.
For a nonmedical exemption to be approved, the parent/guardian is required to obtain a signature from a health care professional, or obtain a certificate from the Online Vaccine Education Module (can be accessed here), and the nonmedical exemption portion of the Certificate of Immunization Status must be signed by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Pennsylvania 

Medical and Religious

Pennsylvania code 23.84 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if a physician or physician’s designee provides a written statement that immunization may be detrimental to the health of the child, and/or the parent/guardian objects, in writing, to the immunization on religious grounds or on the basis of a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief.
A Pennsylvania Exemption from Immunization must be submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Rhode Island

Medical and Religious

Rhode Island §16-38-2 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if a certificate from a licensed physician states that the person is not a fit subject for immunization for medical reasons, and/or a certificate signed by the parent/guardian states that immunization is contrary to religious beliefs.
A Religious Immunization Exemption Certificate must be submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here

South Carolina

Medical and Religious

S.C. Code Ann. § 44-29-180 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if a Certificate of Medical Exemption, and/or a Certificate of Religious Exemption has been submitted.
A South Carolina Certificate for Religious Exemption must be notarized and submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

South Dakota

Medical and Religious

South Dakota Code 13-28-7.1 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if certification from a licensed physician states that immunization would endanger the child’s life, and/or a written certification signed by a parent/guardian states that religious doctrine is opposed to immunization.
The Medical Exemption portion of the South Dakota Certificate of Immunization must be completed and submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Tennessee

Medical and Religious

Tennessee Code 49-6-5001 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if a written statement is submitted that immunizations conflict with religious tenets and practices, and/or a written statement from the child’s doctor is submitted excusing them from immunizations.
A Religious Exemption from Vaccinations form must be submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Texas

Medical, Religious, and Other

Texas Sec. 38.001 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if a certificate signed by a physician who is duly licensed states that immunization poses a significant risk to the health and well-being of the child, and/or an affidavit signed by the parent/guardian states that immunizations have been declined for reasons of conscious, including religious belief.
An affidavit for Exemption for Immunizations must be requested – information can be found here.

Utah

Medical, Religious, and Personal Belief

Utah code 53A-11-301 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if a certificate from a licensed physician states that immunizations would endanger the student’s life, and/or a statement signed by a parent/guardian states that a personal or religious belief opposes immunizations.
Both religious and personal exemption forms must be signed in the presence of a local health officer, so one must physically visit a local health department for the forms. Sample documents can be found here and here.

Vermont

Medical, Religious, and Philosophical

18 V.S.A. § 1122 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if a health care practitioner certifies that immunization may be detrimental to the person’s health, and/or the parent/guardian holds religious belief or philosophical convictions opposed to immunization.
School Immunization Exemption forms must be submitted by the parent/guardian – they can be found here and here.

Virginia

Medical and Religious

§ 22.1-271.2 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if an affidavit is submitted by the parent/guardian which states that administration of immunizations conflicts with religious tenets or practices, and/or written certification from a physician, licensed nurse practitioner, or local health department has been submitted stating that immunizations may be detrimental to the child’s health.
A Certificate of Religious Exemption must be notarized and submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Washington

Medical, Religious, and Philosophical

RCW 28A.210.090 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if a written certification signed by a health care practitioner states that vaccination is not advisable for the child, and/or a written certification signed by the parent/guardian states that religious, philosophical, or personal beliefs are contrary to immunizations.
A Certificate of Exemption must be submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

West Virginia

Medical

§64-95-14 grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education only if a certificate of immunization has been indicated by a child’s treating physician.

Wisconsin

Medical, Religious, and Personal Conviction

Wisconsin code 252.04(3) grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if a parent/guardian submits a written statement objecting to the immunization for reasons of health, religion, or personal conviction.
The waivers portion of the Student Immunization Record must be completed and submitted by a parent/guardian – it can be found here.

Wyoming

Medical and Religious

WY Stat § 21-4-309 (2013) grants exemption from the vaccination requirements for education if a waiver is submitted with written evidence of religious objection or medical contraindication.
A Religious Exemption to Mandatory Immunizations must be submitted by the parent/guardian – it can be found here.

 

When there is risk, there must be choice

For the majority of US citizens, the rule “No Shots, No School” is really not a rule at all, as there are ways to easily protect your child. In nearly every state, vaccinations are NOT required for school attendance, and plenty of unvaccinated children have walked the halls of public schools. For those who are hesitant or downright skeptical about vaccines, but afraid their child cannot attend school, bask in the knowledge that you do have a choice.

Until next time,
Savannah

 

 

Author: Savannah Baker

Savannah is a full-time mom of one, and can often be found outside on one of her various adventures. She enjoys carving her own path through natural and holistic living, as well as discovering ways to use food as medicine.