What is the Commissioner of Health going to do with my notarized letter? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 02-18-2010, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in MN, and am in the process of enrolling my kids in school. While many of the sites I've consulted (like NVIC) say that MN has a religious exemption to vaccination, I can't find anything like that written in the actual health code (please correct me if I'm wrong!). All I can find are two options: doctor must submit a form indicating vaxing is medically harmful, or a parent submitting a notarized letter.

This is the actual language I'm looking at:
Quote:
If a notarized statement signed by the minor child's parent or guardian or by the emancipated person is submitted to the administrator or other person having general control and supervision of the school or child care facility stating that the person has not been immunized as prescribed in subdivision 1 because of the conscientiously held beliefs of the parent or guardian of the minor child or of the emancipated person, the immunizations specified in the statement shall not be required. This statement must also be forwarded to the commissioner of the Department of Health.
Does that mean that I have to forward it to the Dept of Health, or that the school does? What is the Dept of Health going to do with this info, track us in some way?

I would much rather use a religious exemption, because it seems like there is more legal protection for religious beliefs than for "conscientiously held beliefs".

Am I missing MN's religious exemption? Are my kids going to be tracked in some way because of this Dept of Health thing? Do I just bring this notarized letter when I enroll them in school, or can I bring it after I've filled out all the forms?

Thank you in advance!
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#2 of 10 Old 02-18-2010, 11:38 AM
 
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I am not in MN, hopefully someone who is will chime inbut i just read the MN law. I would just subsitute religious beliefs for conscientiously held beliefs in the notorized statement. The word conscientious can include religious beliefs as well as philisophical ones I would think if you look at the actualy definition of the word. If you look at section 8 it tells you where your statement goes and why. It seems you just need to submit it to the school and they have their state requirements which include submitting a report to the commisioner. I don't think it is for tracking purposes. They are merely trying to comply with the laws of MN.

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#3 of 10 Old 02-18-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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I'm in MN and have submitted the form twice.

The first time was for ECFE (public) and the second was when I enrolled dd in preschool at our synagogue (private). Both of them used the exact same form that you can also find online through the health department (though I never needed to find and download it myself). It is simply a sheet of paper that has a list of all of the vaccines on it, and your fill in when your dc received them. Next to that are two other boxes. One says that you object to specific vaccines, and you list which ones you object to and why. That box needs to be signed by a doctor. The other box says that you object to all vaccines for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons and you sign it in front of a notary. There is no place to distinguish why you object to all vaccines. Dh took it to a notary and signed it. We turned it in to both schools and neither one batted an eye.

The school turned it into the health department. I don't know what they do with this info. but I'm assuming there will be some sort of official notification to us or the school if there is a breakout of a VPD telling us to keep dd home.
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#4 of 10 Old 02-18-2010, 01:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ammiga View Post
I'm in MN and have submitted the form twice.

The first time was for ECFE (public) and the second was when I enrolled dd in preschool at our synagogue (private). Both of them used the exact same form that you can also find online through the health department (though I never needed to find and download it myself). It is simply a sheet of paper that has a list of all of the vaccines on it, and your fill in when your dc received them. Next to that are two other boxes. One says that you object to specific vaccines, and you list which ones you object to and why. That box needs to be signed by a doctor. The other box says that you object to all vaccines for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons and you sign it in front of a notary. There is no place to distinguish why you object to all vaccines. Dh took it to a notary and signed it. We turned it in to both schools and neither one batted an eye.

The school turned it into the health department. I don't know what they do with this info. but I'm assuming there will be some sort of official notification to us or the school if there is a breakout of a VPD telling us to keep dd home.
Ditto - I'm in MN, both of my kids are in enrolled in daycare and my older son is in kindergarten and all you do is fill out the exemption instead of the vaccine info on the vaccination form and get it notarized. Easy-peasy.

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#5 of 10 Old 02-18-2010, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great, thank you very much. So, is this a form I can bring with me when I enroll them (available online somewhere)? Or do I need to actually pick it up from the school? I'm moving from out of state, and my kids will need to start school soon after we arrive, so I'd like to limit the lag time.
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#6 of 10 Old 02-18-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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For us, both times it was included in the forms given to us by the school. They both gave us a stack of paperwork to fill out about dd and school policies, and it was just one of the sheets. Everyone who went to the schools got the exact same sheets to read and fill out.
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#7 of 10 Old 02-18-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MsElle07 View Post
Great, thank you very much. So, is this a form I can bring with me when I enroll them (available online somewhere)? Or do I need to actually pick it up from the school? I'm moving from out of state, and my kids will need to start school soon after we arrive, so I'd like to limit the lag time.
It's online: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/i...upilimzrec.pdf You can see over on the left-hand side is the exemption, there's medical and conscientious objection. If you're using the conscientious exemption it asks you to list which vaccines you're opposed to; I'm not vaccinating at all so I just put ALL in big letters instead of listing them out individually. You DON'T need to list which vaccines they've had, if any. When registering DS for kindy I accidentally let it slip that he'd had a couple, and they were insistent that they needed to know which ones he'd had, but I just said no. Then they made me talk to the nurse, who said they didn't HAVE to know but it was helpful in case we ever decided to start vaccinating again so we wouldn't have to redo any, I just kinda nodded and smiled and she said "Oh, we can look them up online and fill that in for you" and took the sheet before I could say we had him removed from the vaccine registry, then came back and said "Oh, looks like only the department of health can access his record..." Yeah, I know, I planned it that way.

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#8 of 10 Old 02-21-2010, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you again, everyone!

How do you have someone removed from the vaccine registry? I woulld rather not have my children's school have access to that info.
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#9 of 10 Old 02-21-2010, 10:55 AM
 
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That's a different form, although very similar, to the one that I filled out twice. The one that we got actually listed that the opposition was medical, philosophical, or religious in nature, without making a distinction between them. That one lumps religious and philosophical together and separate medical. I wonder if that's an older one or a newer one, since the two schools I went to used the same one.

I'm not sure about the vaccine registry thing... I mean, the school knows dd's vax status because of the paperwork we turned in. But if there is an opt-out, I'd probably do that and just have them have access to the paperwork they have. It would be nice to limit the rest of the world's access to dd's records.
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#10 of 10 Old 02-22-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MsElle07 View Post
Thank you again, everyone!

How do you have someone removed from the vaccine registry? I woulld rather not have my children's school have access to that info.
For my older son I was able to email the regional coordinator for the vaccine registry and have him removed. For my younger one I had to call a number, they tried to talk me out of it, blah blah blah, but I think I did that only because I didn't have email access at the time. Here's the link to the regional contacts: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/i...istry/map.html

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