The state of West Virginia requires children to be immunized with certain vaccinations before they can be enrolled in school — and the state is among the most rigid in the nation about the requirement.
Unless a parent can prove their child has a medical condition which causes vaccinations to be dangerous, West Virginia will not offer an exemption. While most states offer exemptions from vaccinations to students based on religious, philosophical, or personal objections from the parents or guardians, West Virginia does not.
The state has requires a schedule of vaccinations at the day care, prekindergarten, elementary, seventh grade, 12th grade, and university levels. The day care requirements apply at home day cares as well as family child care centers.
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Among other vaccinations, West Virginia kids have to be vaccinated
against both hepatitis A and B. The state requires a proof of booster on the Tdap for entering seventh and 12th grades. The MCV4 vaccine, which protects against meningitis, is also required. Children at those grade levels cannot even be provisionally enrolled without this vaccine.
Medical exemptions can be allowed if children have experienced an anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine, have been diagnosed with certain illnesses, or have become pregnant at the time of the vaccination (in the case of older children and college students).
For people who cannot pay for vaccinations, West Virginia Division of Immunization Services
offers a “Vaccines for Children” program. The federally funded program provides free vaccinations for families who do not have medical insurance or who are on Medicaid.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures
, West Virginia is one of only three states that do not allow exemptions from vaccination requirements for any other reasons than medical.
California used to offer philosophical exemptions, but eliminated them in July 2016. Mississippi is the other state that does not allow exemptions from vaccinations for any reason other than a medical condition.
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