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)