Last updated on: 7/26/2019 | Author: ProCon.org

State Vaccination Exemptions for Children Entering Public Schools

No US federal vaccination laws exist, but all 50 states have laws requiring children attending public school to be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (generally in a DTaP vaccine); polio (an IPV vaccine); measles and rubella (generally in an MMR vaccine); and varicella (chickenpox). All 50 states allow medical exemptions, 45 states allow religious exemptions, and 15 states allow philosophical (or personal belief) exemptions. DC allows medical and religious exemptions. 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 June 14, 2019.

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)   (45 states and DC)   (15 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      

*Washington removed the philosophical vaccine exemption for the MMR vaccine only, effective July 28, 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

For an example of what a vaccination exemption form looks like, see Wyoming’s medical and religious vaccination exemption forms.


Sources:

Bobby Allyn, “New York Ends Religious Exemptions for Required Vaccines,” npr.org, June 13, 2019

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

E.A. Crunden, “Washington State Takes Aim at Measles Crisis by Hitting Vaccines Exemptions,” thinkprogress.org, May 11, 2019

Morgan Gstalter, “Maine Governor Signs Bill to Remove Religious, Philosophical Vaccine Exemptions,” thehill.com, May 25, 2019

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)

Washington State Legislature, “HB 1638 – 2019-20,” app.leg.wa.gov (accessed July 26, 2019)