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Sample religious exemption letters for MA schools

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well, this will be my first year submitting a religious exemption letter for my DS going to preschool (probably the same Catholic school that DD attended) and my DD entering K (either the local public one or the same Catholic school that she attended as preschool). My DD was fully vaxed as a baby (for her pre-K) but I am not doing her req boosters for K, my DS is not fully vaxed to attend preschool. I would really appreciate the sample letters you use for entering school in Mass. I do not know if I'm going to run into a problem with the Catholic preschool...
Also, do I need to make sure their dr's office leaves the vax info completely blank or can they list the vaxes they received and check that it's not completed/up to date? Anyone have any experience with Child Health Associates being okay with leaving the vax info blank (just not a good feeling about getting them to do it). Also, any other tips/info would be greatly appreciated. I am so nervous about handling this correctly. Thanks!
post #2 of 5
Here is a good thread from last year
post #3 of 5

this was the letter we used

I used the first one to exempt myself from vaccines at my college - I used the one below to exempt my LO from daycare vaccines. I included the law with the exemption and was given no problems.
***********
Notice of Religious Exemption to Vaccinations
NAME, SCHOOL

As per General Laws of Massachusetts chapter 76, section 15C (Vaccination and Immunization; Exceptions by Reason of Physical Condition or Religious Belief) I am exempting myself from vaccination because it conflicts with my sincerely held religious belief.

_________________________________
NameDate



M.G.L. c. 76, ss 15C;
§ 15. Vaccination and Immunization; Exceptions by Reason of Physical Condition or Religious Belief.
No child shall, except as hereinafter provided, be admitted to school except upon presentation of a physician's certificate that the child has been successfully immunized against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles and poliomyelitis and such other communicable diseases as may be specified from time to time by the department of public health.
A child shall be admitted to school upon certification by a physician that he has personally examined such child and that in his opinion the physical condition of the child is such that his health would be endangered by such vaccination or by any of such immunizations. Such certification shall be submitted at the beginning of each school year to the physician in charge of the school health program. If the physician in charge of the school health program does not agree with the opinion of the child's physician, the matter shall be referred to the department of public health, whose decision will be final.
In the absence of an emergency or epidemic of disease declared by the department of public health, no child whose parent or guardian states in writing that vaccination or immunization conflicts with his sincere religious beliefs shall be required to present said physician's certificate in order to be admitted to school.


105 CMR 220.600 (2007)
220.600: Immunization Requirements for Postsecondary Students
(A) No student, as specified in 105 CMR 220.400(C) and 220.600(B), shall attend a postsecondary institution without a certification of immunization, as specified in 105 CMR 220.600(C). For purposes of 105 CMR 220.600, "postsecondary institution" shall mean a college, university, institute or school accredited as a postsecondary institution by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
(B) The following students are subject to the requirements of 105 CMR 220.600(C):
(1) full-time undergraduate and graduate students;
(2) part-time undergraduate and graduate students in a health science program who may be in contact with patients; and
(3) beginning on January 1, 1999, any full or part-time student attending an institution of higher education in Massachusetts while on a student or other visa, including a student attending or visiting classes or programs as part of a formal academic visitation or exchange program.
(C) Each student subject to 105 CMR 220.600(B) must present a certificate of immunization that the student has received the following immunizations:
(1) at least one dose of mumps and rubella vaccine(s) given at or after 12 months of age;
(2) two doses of live measles vaccine given at least one month apart beginning at or after 12 months of age;
(3) a booster dose of Td within the last ten years;
(4) beginning on September 1, 2000, 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine will be required for all students in a health science program who may be in contact with patients. After September 1, 2005, this requirement shall apply to all students subject to 105 CMR 220.600.
(D) The requirements of 105 CMR 220.600 shall not apply where:
(1) the student provides written documentation that he or she meets the standards for medical or religious exemption set forth in M.G.L. c. 76, ss 15C;
(2) the student provides appropriate documentation, including a copy of a school immunization record, indicating receipt of the required immunizations; or
(3) in the case of measles, mumps, rubella and hepatitis B, the student presents laboratory evidence of immunity.
(E) Whenever possible, such immunizations are to be obtained prior to enrollment or registration. However, students subject to 105 CMR 220.600 may be enrolled or registered provided that the required immunizations are obtained within 30 days of registration and provided, further, that the postsecondary institution has policies and procedures for ascertaining which students have failed to obtain the necessary immunizations within 30 days, and for taking appropriate follow up action to ensure compliance with 105 CMR 220.00.

*******
daycare
******
Notice of Religious Exemption to Vaccinations

To whom this may concern,

We, parents names, are exempting our child, child's name, from all vaccinations because it conflicts with our sincerely held religious belief.

IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR GROUP DAY CARE AND
SCHOOL AGE CHILD CARE PROGRAMS
Regulations Of The Department of Early Education and Care
102 CMR 7.00: Standards For The Licensure Or Approval Of Group Day Care And School Age Child Care Programs (7/10/97)
Section 102 CMR 7.09(5)(a) Required Medical Examinations in Group Child Care Programs

“The licensee shall require, at admission, a physician’s certificate that each child has been successfully immunized in accordance with the current Department of Public Health’s recommended schedules against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), poliomyelitis, measles and such other communicable diseases as may be specified from time to time by the Office. No child shall be required, under 102 CMR 7.00 to have any such immunization if his parent(s) objects thereto, in writing, on the grounds that it conflicts with their religious beliefs or if the child’s physician submits documentation that such a procedure is contraindicated.”


Sincerely,

Names of parents
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the link and the info. I am still confused with how I should have the dr's office fill out their form. Should I request them to leave all the previous vax info blank or is it okay for them to fill out the vaxes previously done and then check off "not up to date"? Thanks!
post #5 of 5
Legally you do not need anything from your doctor. If you need to turn in a physical form, do that - if there is something for "vaccinations" just ask the doctor to leave it blank, although our doctor has a form that just says So and So is fit and healthy and able to participate in school - there is nothing about vaccinations. If you somehow cannot avoid having something about vaccinations and for some reason cannot avoid having the doctor write previous vaccinations and a question comes up, you don't really have to explain. You vaccinated before, you reflected on it, and decided that you will not vaccinate based on sincerely held religious belief. If the school wants more info, you can let them know that they are welcome to look up the law, but you are not comfortable with nor obligated to share any further information because it is private and you are legally protected from being forced to share any information about your personal religious beliefs or practices. Or if you feel like you need to say something about vaccinations on a form, you can always just write "see religious exemption attached". Best of luck!
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