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News Link • Vaccines and Vaccinations

Legal Exemptions to Vaccination(?)

• K.N.O.W. via e-mail
Legal Exemptions to Vaccination
Reprinted from National Vaccine Information Center.
Medical, philosophical or personal belief exemptions are worded differently in each state.  To use an exemption for your child, you must know specifically what the law says in your state.
Philosophical Exemption:
The following 18 states allow exemption to vaccination based on philosophical, personal or conscientiously held beliefs: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

In many of these states, individuals must object to all vaccines, not just a particular vaccine in order to use the philosophical or personal belief exemption.  Many state legislators are being urged by federal health officials and medical organizations to revoke this exemption to vaccination.  If you are objecting to vaccination based on philosophical or personal conviction, keep an eye on your state legislature as public health officials may seek to amend state laws to eliminate this exemption.
Religious Exemption:
All states allow a religious exemption to vaccination except Mississippi and West Virginia.

The religious exemption is intended for people who hold a sincere religious belief opposing vaccination to the extent that if the state forced vaccination, it would be an infringement on their right to exercise their religious beliefs.  Some state laws define religious exemptions broadly to include personal religious beliefs, similar to personal philosophical beliefs.  Other states require an individual who claims a religious exemption to be a member of The First Church of Christ, Scientist (Christian Science) or another bonafide religion whose written tenets include prohibition of invasive medical procedures such as vaccination.  (This kind of language has been ruled unconstitutional when it has been challenged in state Supreme Courts.)  Some laws require a signed affidavit from the pastor or spiritual advisor of the parent exercising religious exemption that affirms the parents' sincere religious belief about vaccination, while others allow the parent to sign a notarized waiver.  Prior to registering your child for school, you must check your state law to verify what proof may be needed.

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

The whole idea of legally requiring everybody to get the flu shot to protect against an epidemic, is so full of bull...<p>If the flu shot works, the only epidemic will be among those who stubbornly refuse to get it. Suicide is their choice any time anyway, because there are dozens of ways to commit suicide.<p>The only reason that the Medical is pushing for mandatory flu shots is to make money - now from the sale of the shots - later, from all the adverse effects of the shot caused down the road.<p>

Comment by Don Cline
Entered on:

 This is not legal advice, but the Arizona Revised Statute authorizing mandatory vaccination appears to apply only in cases of highly contagious and highly lethal diseases such as Smallpox.

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