There are several vaccinations that the state of Ohio requires of school-age children, however, parents of Ohio schoolchildren can file for exemptions from these vaccinations on a few grounds. However, every child's vaccination status must be known to Ohio Board of Education, whether exempted or not.
The list of vaccine-treatable diseases for which Ohio requires
immunization for school attendance includes:
According to the National Vaccine Information Center
- Hepatitis B
, a child who attends public schools can be exempted from taking vaccines for medical, religious, and philosophical reasons as long as the a parent of guardian provides the school administration with a written statement parents alongside a waiver form.
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For a vaccination exemption, a parent or guardian must provide the following:
- a religion or denomination for religious exemptions
- a reason of "good cause" for ethical exemptions
- a signed statement from a physician for medical exemptions
The relatively simple form, however, does come with one caveat: in the event of an outbreak, the school may exclude the student from attendance to protect the health of all students, including the unvaccinated, in addition to the faculty.
Because Ohio’s vaccination requirements are not as strict as other states, its population can fall victim to disease outbreaks. According to Columbus Monthly
, in 2014 a mumps outbreak, which started at Ohio State University and spread throughout Central Ohio, infected almost 500 victims. A measles outbreak contracted at Disneyland in May of 2014 also plagued Ohio’s Amish Country.
Of course, the list of required immunizations for children to attend school and the schedules of vaccines are always subject to change.
According to The Highland County Press
, presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, signed a bill into law adding the meningococcal vaccine onto the list of required school immunizations. This additional vaccination requirement will take effect in the 2016-2017 school year.
Ohio also passed legislation "requiring vaccinations for children entering preschool and daycares, becoming the last state to codify this requirement," according to Cleveland's The Plain Dealer
. The three vaccination exemptions would still be protected under the expanded requirements.
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