Tags: Vaccines | vaccination | exemption | Illinois

Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by Illinois?

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Jul 2015 06:54 PM

The Illinois legislature recently sent a bill to the governor that would tighten restrictions for parents seeking vaccination exemptions in the state. Illinois children are required by state law to have certain vaccinations before enrolling in school, but certain exemptions apply.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. John Mulroe, would require parents seeking an immunization exemption for religious reasons to submit a statement from a religious official, according to The Associated Press.

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Parents presently need only provide a statement detailing their objections to obtain an immunization exemption for religious reasons.

“What we don’t want is someone’s personal beliefs putting other people at risk,” Mulroe said, according to the AP. The bill was introduced in response to a measles outbreak in suburban Chicago.

Under current law, a religious statement of objection can be attached to the State of Illinois Certificate of Child Health Examination, according to the Illinois State Board of Education. The objection must be specifically religious and cannot be a “general philosophical or moral reluctance to allow an immunization or examination.” However, the religious objection does not have to be endorsed by a religious organization and instead can be a personal conviction. “Conscience” is also not considered a reason for a valid exemption.

Children who have medical conditions that would make the immunizations detrimental to their health can get exemptions with a doctor’s permission.

SB1410 would require that the State Board of Education publish exemption data. It also would require a tuberculosis skin test screening for certain children and dental and eye examinations. The bill provided that the state provide a Department of Public Health objection form to be signed and notarized. The certificate has to be submitted annually.

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Illinois has added a requirement that students entering the sixth grade in the 2015-16 school year provide proof of having received a meningitis vaccine, WTHI-TV reported. Those entering 12th grade must have proof of receiving two of the shots.

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The Illinois legislature recently sent a bill to the governor that would tighten restrictions for parents seeking vaccination exemptions in the state.
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