Back to school time means vaccination appointments for most of the US population. We run around making sure we’ve got the paperwork to prove our kids are up to date.
What we fail to realize is there are only 3 states where vaccines are required (unless you have a medical exemption). Yes, that’s right – you have options.
Most states have a Religious Exemption and some states also have a Philosophical Exemption.
What do you need to do for a Religious or Philosophical exemption? Most times it’s simply writing out or filling out a sheet of paper and handing it in to the school in place of the vaccination sheet. Some schools will push back and say they don’t accept exemptions. Few things to know:
- If a school accepts any state funds at all, they have to accept your legal exemption (except CA, WV and MS).
- Some privately funded schools also accept exemptions. Call them and ask. Some will say they don’t know. Ask to speak to someone who knows. Contact someone in your area at: www.nvic.org
- Information on your state can be found here: http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/state-vaccine-requirements.aspx
When you make the decision to forgo vaccination, you will likely be pressured by your pediatrician. You need to be firm in those instances and state your reasoning, let them know you’ve done your research and have made your decision. Case closed. Many pediatric offices are now refusing to see unvaccinated (or kids who’s parents have stopped and they are only partially vaccinated). I believe this is due to financial reasons but that’s another post for another day.
Resources for further learning:
If you have questions or want to join a group of knowledgeable individuals you can request here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vaccineawareness/