Last updated on: 3/4/2020 | 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 Mar. 4, 2020.

States & DCAllows
Medical
Exemptions
Allows
Religious
Exemptions
Allows
Philosophical
Exemptions
50 States & DC45 States & DC15 States & DC
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
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.

**Maine’s ban on religious and philosophical vaccine exemptions will go into effect in Sep. 2021.

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

Zack Budryk, “Maine Vaccination Law Survives Referendum Vote,” thehill.com, Mar. 3, 2020

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)

Patty Wight, “Vaccine Exemptions Defeated in Maine, a New Law Dividing Parents Is Upheld,” npr.org, Ma