Tags: Vaccines | vaccination | exemptions | New York

Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by New York?

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015 11:19 PM

New York may be the most difficult state in which to receive vaccination exemptions, according to Vaccination Liberation.

The state allows two exemptions to the mandatory immunization requirement: religious and medical, according to the New York City Department of Education.

If a parent holds “genuine and sincere” religious beliefs that are contrary to the immunization requirement, they may be exempt.

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To receive the religious exemption, parents must provide a written explanation of the basis for the religious beliefs opposing immunization. The statement must be in the parent’s own words and describe the religious principles guiding the objection. The letter should also indicate if all immunizations are opposed, and if not, a religious basis that prohibits the particular vaccinations.

A letter from a parent, lawyer, clergy member, or other person simply stating a religious statement without further explanation will not earn the exemption.

The medical exclusion requires a New York State licensed physician to certify the injection may be detrimental to the health of the child. The letter should specify which immunizations could be harmful and for the length of time the shots could be detrimental.

Public Health Law does not grant exceptions based on personal, moral, secular, scientific, or philosophical beliefs.

Requests are sent to the Department of Education, and if insufficient evidence is shown, further documentation may be requested to be sent within 10 days of receiving the letter.

Denied requests may be appealed, but the child may not attend school during the process.

Earlier in 2015, state legislators Tom Abinanti and Martin Dilan sponsored a bill to allow for a philosophical exemption in the state, according to Capital New York.

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“I believe that the family, with the doctor, should make the individual determination whether a particular vaccine is appropriate for that child,” said Abinanti, whose son has autism. “There are many of us who resent our kids being collateral damage.”

The bill did not leave the health committee because its enacting clause was stricken.

In June, New York passed a mandate that all seventh-graders receive the meningitis vaccine and all 12th-graders get a booster, according to The New York Times. The exemptions, however, remain intact.

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New York may be the most difficult state in which to receive vaccination exemptions, according to Vaccination Liberation.
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