State Vaccination Exemptions for Children Entering Public Schools


No US federal vaccination laws exist, but all 50 states have laws requiring children to be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (generally in a DTaP vaccine); polio (an IPV vaccine); and measles and rubella (49 states also require the mumps vaccination, generally in an MMR vaccine). All 50 states allow medical exemptions, 48 states allow religious exemptions, and 19 states allow philosophical exemptions. DC allows medical and religious exemptions. Missouri and Nebraska offer philosophical exemptions only for children entering childcare and Head Start facilities.

While reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, do not rely on this information without first checking with your local school or government. This chart was last updated on Sep. 1, 2014.

 


State Vaccination Requirements Exemptions

States (and DC)

Click on the state to view its statutes on vaccine regulations and exemptions in PDF format
Allows
Medical
Exemption
Allows
Religious
Exemption
Allows
Philosophical
Exemption
(50 states and DC) (48 states and DC) (19 states and DC*)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California *
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Washington, DC
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont *
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

*[Editor's Note: On May 29, 2015 Vermont governor Peter Shumlin signed H.98, eliminating the philosophical (or personal belief) exemption from Vermont's school vaccination requirements. The change in law is set to take effect on July 1, 2016.]

*[Editor's Note: On June 30, 2015 California governor Jerry Brown signed SB277, eliminating the philosophical (or personal belief) exemption from California's school vaccination requirements. The change in law is set to take effect on July 1, 2016.]

For an example of what a vaccination exemption form looks like, see page two of "
California School Immunization Record" (411 KB)


Sources:

Pat Bradley, "Vermont Governor Signs Bill Removing Philosophical Exemption from Vaccine Choice," wamc.org, May 29, 2015

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Childcare and School Immunization Requirements," www.2a.cdc.gov, June 23, 2008

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "School Vaccination Requirements, Exemptions and Web Links," www.cdc.gov, July 21, 2011

National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), "States with Religious and Philosophical Exemptions from School Immunization Requirements,"
www.ncsl.org, Dec. 2009

National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), "State Vaccine Requirements," www.nvic.org (accessed Jan. 22, 2010)