While there are exemptions to the immunization requirements, parents need to be aware that unvaccinated children are not the only ones at risk for contracting disease. When parents choose not to immunize, their decision affects every other child in the school as well as their own child. Many immunizations require multiple doses before a child builds up full immunity, and some children are not able to be vaccinated. These vulnerable children depend upon “herd immunity” for protection.
What if You Don't Immunize Your Child?
Exemptions to the vaccination requirement include:
A statement signed by a physician that the required immunization would be injurious to the student or members of the student's family or household.
An affidavit signed by a legally authorized representative stating that the immunization conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized religious denomination of which the student is a member.
Students with exemptions on file may need to be excluded from school if there is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.
If the student has not had the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine but has had the varicella (chickenpox) disease then a statement signed by a licensed medical physician, parent, or guardian must be submitted verifying the name of the student and the year in which he/she had the disease.
Some immunizations call for multiple doses of vaccine. For students who have not completed all doses required, state statute allows them to be provisionally enrolled in school if they have received at least one dose of each of the required vaccines prior to enrollment and continue to get the remaining shots as rapidly as is medically feasible.
This means that school staff will need to track progress toward the completion of the required immunizations. Vaccine series do not need to be restarted if the child has a documented immunization record, even if it has been a long time since the last dose, just have the child finish the series.