Over the years I have lost count on the number of times I have heard parents being told untruths or given misinformation about vaccine exemptions, the number of vaccine doses their child needs for school or daycare attendance, which vaccines are mandated by their state, that a daycare center won’t allow their unvaccinated child to attend, or that their child will be kicked out of daycare or school for vaccine delinquency. Some parents have also been told by their doctors or health departments they need every vaccine and every dose on the CDC schedule to attend daycare or school.
Let’s set the record straight:
1. Every state has exemptions whether it is medical, religious, or philosophical (personal). Some states only allow medical, some allow medical and religious, while others allow all three.
2. Some individual vaccines are produced and can be given. A doctor or health department may simply choose not to give them, stock them, or order them for you.
3. States are not uniform in the vaccines they mandate for daycare attendance and school entry and the number of doses a child is required to have. For instance, some states may require five doses of DTaP for school attendance, while some states may require only four doses. Doctors and health departments, however, will simply follow the CDC recommended schedule even if it is not mandated for school or daycare entry.
4. Children can not be kicked out of school immediately for not having had all the vaccines required by their individual state mandate. There are grace periods which allows time for either an exemption to be submitted, or for vaccines to be given and caught up.
5. Daycare centers have state regulations and written within those regulations are state immunization laws which tell you what vaccines and the number of doses that are required for attendance, and solely pertain to children under the age of five. Daycare vaccine exemptions typically follow the same state exemption laws outlined for school-aged children. A daycare center can not simply tell you they don’t accept a child without first reviewing your submitted exemption or delay/selective schedule.
A good source for information and the most up-to-date vaccine exemption issues and laws is Vaccine Liberation. I highly advise however, that you contact someone in your state for additional information and for one-on-one guidance if you are exempting vaccines in some states such as N.J. or N.Y. for instance. Nearly every state has a coalition or group that can help you further.
Exploring Vaccines will list all the individual state vaccine mandates for daycare and school attendance as a ‘quick easy-viewing reference’, what exemptions are available, state coalitions, etc.