Vaccine Exemption Forms and Information, USA
REFUSAL OF RECOMMENDED VACCINEShttp://www.geocities.com/titus2birthing/VacRefuse.html
If you need a religious waver they are on my
web site under articles at www.mercola.com.
Illinois K-12 School Immunization Requirements http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/k12sir.htm
Coalition For Informed Choice. Gary Krasner, Director
PO Box 230426, Hollis, NY 11423
fax/phone: 718-479-2939, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Protect your rights! Become an advocate and inform others"
TO VACCINATE OR NOT: AN INTRODUCTORY GUIDE TO AN
INFORMED CHOICE by Gary Krasner
LEGAL EXEMPTIONS TO VACCINATION
Religious, medical and philosophical exemptions are worded differently in
each state. To use an exemption for your child, you must know specifically
what the law says in your state. To obtain a copy of your law, ask your
local reference librarian to help you. Ask for the public health codes,
education and welfare laws pertaining to vaccination requirements for school
Philosophical Exemption: The following 17 states allow exemption to
vaccination based on philosophical beliefs: Arizona, California, Colorado,
Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota,
Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
In many of these states, individuals must object to all vaccines, not just a
particular vaccine in order to use the philosophical objection or personal
conviction exemption. Many state legislators are being urged by federal
health officials and medical organizations, to revoke this exemption to
vaccination. If you are objecting to vaccination based on philosophical or
personal conviction, keep an eye on your state legislature as public health
officials seek to amend state laws to eliminate this exemption.
Religious Exemption: All states allow a religious exemption to vaccination
except Mississippi and West Virginia.
The religious exemption is intended for people who possess a sincere
religious belief against vaccination to the extent that if the state forced
vaccination, it would be an infringement on their right to exercise their
religious beliefs. Some state laws define religious exemptions broadly to
include personal religious beliefs, similar to personal philosophical
beliefs. Other states require an individual who claims a religious exemption
to be a member of The First Church of Christ, Scientist (Christian Science)
or another bonafide religion whose written tenets include prohibition of
invasive medical procedures such as vaccination. Some laws require a signed
affidavit from the pastor of the church while others allow the parent to
sign a notarized waiver. Prior to registering your child for school, you
must check your state law to verify what your health department requires to
prove your religious beliefs. The religious exemption is granted based on
the First Amendment of the Constitution, which is the right to freely
exercise your religion. Because citizens are protected under the First
Amendment of the United States, a state must have a "compelling State
interest" before this right can be taken away. One "compelling State
interest" is the spread of communicable diseases. In state court cases which
have set precedent on this issue the freedom to act according to your own
religious belief is subject to reasonable regulation with the justification
that it must not threaten the welfare of society as a whole.
Medical Exemptions: All 50 states allow medical exemption to vaccination.
Proof of medical exemption must take the form of a signed statement by a
Medical Doctor (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) that the administering
of one or more vaccines would be detrimental to the health of an individual.
Most doctors follow the AAP and CDC guidelinesMost states do not allow
Doctors of Chiropractic (D.C.) to write medical exemptions to vaccination.
Some states will accept a private physician's written exemption without
question. Other states allow the state health department to review the
doctor's exemption and revoke it if health department officials don't think
the exemption is justified.
Proof of Immunity: Most states will allow exemptions to vaccination for
certain diseases if proof of immunity can be shown to exist. Immunity can be
proven if you or your child have had the natural disease or have been
vaccinated. You have to check your state laws to determine which vaccines in
your state can be exempted if proof of immunity is demonstrated.
Private medical laboratories can take blood ( a titer test) and analyze it
to measure the level of antibodies, for example, to measles or pertussis
that are present in the blood. If the antibody level is high enough,
according to accepted standards, you have obtained proof of immunity and may
be able to use this for an exemption to vaccination.
HEALTH: Capistrano is getting an unusually high excuse rate for
hepatitis B and measles immunizations.
September 3, 1999
By LIZ KOWALCZYK
The Orange County Register
As many as 100 Capistrano Unified parents have submitted little blue
cards excusing their children from the new state-mandated hepatitis B
and measles immunizations, an excuse rate far above the norm for other
immunizations, said school district nurse Carol
Perkins. Perkins said she is mystified and will contact parents to
make sure they understand the seriousness of the diseases, but some
parents say the real problem is schools inserting themselves into family
Hepatitis B, a disease that attacks the liver, is contracted primarily
through unprotected sex or IV drug use. And parent Dan Snavely, for
one, doesn't think that makes it a real concern for his 12-year-old son,
Jacob. Especially since in his view vaccines carry risks of serious
side effects. Snavely learned about the waiver option on a vaccine Web
site run by a parent and then went to Niguel Hills Middle School to
register his son Aug. 17. He asked for a blue waiver card. "One of the
two secretaries said, 'You can't do that.' Then the other lady turned to
her and said, 'Yes he can.' "
Snavely said Jacob is "far removed from being an IV drug user or from
being sexually active. I know teens do things they shouldn't, but I'm
willing to have that much faith in his good judgment." State health
officials said they will examine the waiver numbers
statewide next month, worried that parents like Snavely might have
lifted bad information from the Internet. Thirty percent of hepatitis B
cases are transmitted by unknown means, and the virus lives for five
days on sinks and drinking glasses.
California law allows parents to obtain vaccine waivers for two reasons:
if a doctor believes the shots could endanger the child's health,
usually if he has cancer or a failing immune system; or if a parent
signs a form saying one or more of the required vaccines "are contrary
to my beliefs." Few do.
Among the state's 530,000 kindergartners, about 0.5 percent enter school
with waivers each year, said Natalie Smith, the state Department of
Health Services chief of immunology. Pockets of the state, like the
northern coast and along the Sierras, where alternative medicine is
popular, have waiver rates as high as 10 percent. But the Orange County
rate has been in line with the California average although Capistrano
Unified accounted for almost half the kindergarten waivers in 1997.
With 75 to 100 waivers among Capistrano's 3,000 seventh-graders so far
this year, the district's rate is running at 3 percent. Perkins said she
has no idea why the school district has so many parents seeking waivers,
and there doesn't seem to be an organized vaccine opposition. Smith
said she won't know until October or November, when school districts are
required to report vaccination rates, whether waivers for
seventh-graders in other districts are rolling in or holding steady.
Most Orange County school districts say their vaccination clinics are
jammed with seventh-graders looking for shots before school starts.
Though no other districts have reported a large waiver rate, they said
they won't know for sure until they calculate the numbers later this
month. Besides, the little blue cards aren't a topic nurses relish
discussing. The waiver option is not widely known of, and with
hepatitis B infecting 20,000 Americans a year, most of whom caught the
diseaese in adolescence, health officials don't want to interrupt their
momentum in curbing the spread. Hepatitis B causes all kinds of liver
problems, including cancer.
Vaccine-wary parents counter with their own statistics. "Not every
vaccine is safe for every child," said Natalie Costa, who signed a
kindergarten waiver for her 6-year-old daughter. "Some parents think
autism may be caused by the measles vaccine, and there have been 15,000
adverse events reported because of the hepatitis B shots." Snavely, a
chiropractor, said, "We have this attitude that health comes from a
drug, but it comes from within." To counter these arguments, Perkins
will send out a letter to parents who signed waivers explaining the
dangers of Hepatitis B. She will let them know that if their child is
not immunized for measles, and there were a measles outbreak in school,
the child would have to stay home for at least 21 days.
"Most of the parents I've talked to just don't think it's necessary; if
you've got a little stud muffin going to seventh grade, you don't want
to think about him being sexually active," she said. "A few parents say
it's religious, and others just feel we don't have a right to tell them
what to do. A parent has to decide for their own child. We can't take
that right away from