My son is going to visit my parents this summer and they have found a day camp for him to attend. On the medical form it says that no child will be excepted without a complete immunization form. We have done very limited vaccines and on a delayed schedule, but here in California there is a personal belief exemption. I'm concerned that the "sincere religious belief" exemption will be hard to get especially since he has DTaP. Is this really the case? Please help.
Vaccine exemption in MA
Here is a sample in case you need it:
REQUEST FOR EXEMPTION FROM VACCINATION AND IMMUNIZATION
To: Whom it May Concern
As a parent having control of and responsibility for _______, I request the said minor be exempt from the vaccination and immunization requirements on religious grounds in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 76, Section 15, General Laws of Massachusetts as amended by Chapter 285 of the Acts of 1971.
Part of an act further regulating vaccination and immunization of school children:
Section 15 of Chapter 76 of the General Laws, as most recently amended by Chapter 590 of the Acts of 1967, is hereby further amended…
“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.”
Chapter 285 of the Acts of 1971
General Laws of Massachusetts
I have two girls in MA public schools and they also attend summer camps that require vax records. I just provide a statement of religious exemption and the school/camp puts it on file. So long as they have the form I have yet to encounter any issues. We lived in CA when DD1 was in preschool and when we moved back to MA, I was worried how much of a hassle it would be that she hadn't been fully immunized. So far we've been ok.
Interesting - just got an e-mail back from the camp nurse asking me to sign their own immunization waiver form, which is basically the same thing as what I sent them referencing the same state statute, only on their official letterhead. Guess they must get requests for religious waivers fairly often.