(VT) filing exemption form AND medical form in a delayed & selective vax situation - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-20-2006, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've looked at some recent threads about paperwork for pre-school admission. I just am trying to figure out what I should and should not do as far as submitting papers for my daughter. Our information packet included a medical history form to be completed and signed by our doctor, and the cover letter mentioned that exemption forms were available on request. I requested an exemption form from the school, and I plan to submit it. (The pre-school is in VT, which recognizes medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions.)

I have the impression that the medical history form still needs to be filed (even with the exemption form being filed), and their medical form requests immunization history and dates. It also states in bold print at the bottom of the form: "All shots and vaccines expected before admission." What are the ramifications of filing a medical history form that includes some vaccination information, if you are submitting a moral/philosophical exemption?

My daughter has been vaccinated, but on a delayed schedule and selectively. I don't want to rush certain vaxes just to get her "up to speed" and there are others I don't intend to get at all. In fact, I guess it's possible that I could just stop vaccinating entirely at this point, though I haven't made that absolute decision. My husband has always assumed that our daughter would be up-to-date by kindergarten, (though he also assumes waiting until the teen years for Hep-B so that's not exactly "up to date"), and that we are just delaying, but as more and more gets added I'm not sure where we'll stand with required vaxes for our state.

But right now, I'm wondering about how to handle the pre-school paperwork requirements.

We do not live in VT (we live in NY, and I'm aware that when it comes to public schools, the issue will be different as we'll be in New York state) but since the preschool is licensed and registered in VT, I think we follow the requirements for that state (which allows for a philosophical exemption.) The bottom of the form (after the medical exemption portion) states "I request that immunizations for my child be waived because they conflict with free exercise of religious or moral rights."

How do I handle the fact that she has had shots within the last year and that will appear on her medical form alongside the moral exemption? Can the exemption be considered an exemption for the shots we object to specifically? (My husband assumes this, but I am not so sure.) Does it make a difference whether a state is an "all or nothing state" or not? How do you find out that information? (Is Vermont "all or nothing"?)

I haven't submitted the medical form to our doctor yet. She sends her kids to the same school. She has been accomodating of our reservations and respectful of our rights as parents to decide. But it's definitely a case where the doctor knows the school and its requirements, and also knows what we're doing. (In other threads, posters have commented that the waiver is for the school and the doctor's office has nothing to do with it, but it could be a topic of conversation in our situation.) My doctor will know that our daughter is not up to date, and will also know that we've had some shots (and may have more?) if we file the moral exemption. Is this an issue, too?
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Old 08-20-2006, 12:01 PM
 
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The school doesn't need to know about anything she has received, just file an either philosophical or religious exemption and don't mention any previous shots. In MN you can pick and choose which vaccines you're opposed to with the philosophical exemption, so you might have that option in VT, but IMO it's easier to just get an exemption for them all. As for the medical form, yes that needs to be completed in addition to the waiver, just cross out the vaccine portion or write "See attached exemption form".

I'm sure LongIsland will pop on pretty soon, she's the resident authority on exemptions, so if she contradicts anything I say, listen to her!

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Old 08-20-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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I am in NM (we also have medical, philisophical, and religious exemption) and I have an exemption for my 4yo who is in pre-school. It's a 'general' exemption and does not specify which vaccines he has not received. So, he's technically exempt from ALL vaccines. He has, however, received some vaccines.

What I did was turned in his vaccination card, showing what he HAS been vaccinated for, and then turned in the exemption for what he has NOT been vaccinated for.

I did this because I don't want my son to be removed from school if a vaccine preventable disease were to break out.
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Old 08-20-2006, 02:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyC
We do not live in VT (we live in NY, and I'm aware that when it comes to public schools, the issue will be different as we'll be in New York state) but since the preschool is licensed and registered in VT, I think we follow the requirements for that state (which allows for a philosophical exemption.) The bottom of the form (after the medical exemption portion) states "I request that immunizations for my child be waived because they conflict with free exercise of religious or moral rights."

How do I handle the fact that she has had shots within the last year and that will appear on her medical form alongside the moral exemption? Can the exemption be considered an exemption for the shots we object to specifically? (My husband assumes this, but I am not so sure.) Does it make a difference whether a state is an "all or nothing state" or not? How do you find out that information? (Is Vermont "all or nothing"?)
Based on the statute, it appears that Vermont is an all or nothing state. This is a good opportunity to point out that not all states offering philosphical exemptions allow parents to technically pick and choose.

Your exemption is not going to be compromised b/c your child has a vax history, but I always say not submitting prior vax history makes for a "cleaner" exemption. There's no reason to disclose this information if you are submitting an exemption.

As far as the medical form - just cross out the immunization section and write "N/A" or "Religious Exemption" if you don't submit prior vax history.

Vermont statutes: http://healthvermont.gov/regs/immune_regs.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by New Mexico Beach
I did this because I don't want my son to be removed from school if a vaccine preventable disease were to break out.
If there's an outbreak of a VPD, a parent may give the school proof of vax if applicable --- the exemption would not be compromised. You are not obligated by law to disclose prior vax history.
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Old 08-20-2006, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So it's okay to cross out the immunization portion of the medical history form before giving it to our doctor? She will know, then, that we are filing an exemption (which is fine.) I was assuming that the doctor has to fill out the entire form (though it also asks for the dentist's contact info and dental history, and our doctor wouldn't know that.) But at the bottom of the entire form, it does have a space for the physician's signature. I figured I'd insert my daughter's name and date of birth and drop off the form to be filled out and then returned to me. Having marked out the immunization portion should not be a problem? (I suppose I could attach a note to the doctor saying that I'll be filing an exemption and so the immunization records are not needed, and she could add the N/A.)

If I file an exemption, should I not submit to any further shots? (I know normally the school and the doctor are more separate, but as I mentioned, this doctor would know that my daughter attends the pre-school, know the requirements, and know that I have the exemption.) Not that I'm wanting to get shots, but we had left a couple up in the air and were supposed to do one (if we decided yes) this fall. At this point, I already was leaning toward postponing it indefinitely, but I wanted to know how signing the exemption will impact our decisions. Would I even be free to get another shot if we WANTED to?

It probably sounds strange to ask if it will be okay to get more shots after signing! In my mind, the moral/philosophical exemption is important because I definitely don't want to get everything on the preschool's form (DTaP, Polio, MMR, HIB, HepB, Varicella, PCV7), and certainly not try to have her up to date by the beginning of September. The only way I see around that is to get the exemption, and I will. Wherever I stand on vaccinations, I don't feel right about the "mandated" schedule and could never have gone through with any of that with a newborn. I have a major objection to that. I just need to know if this exemption will mean that I should NOT continue to select certain vax on a delayed basis, which up until now has felt like an option.
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Old 08-20-2006, 04:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyC
So it's okay to cross out the immunization portion of the medical history form before giving it to our doctor?

(I suppose I could attach a note to the doctor saying that I'll be filing an exemption and so the immunization records are not needed, and she could add the N/A.)
I would cross out the section and write "religious exemption" across the entire section . . . and write a separate note to the doctor's office not to fill out that portion if you will not be present when someone signs it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyC
If I file an exemption, should I not submit to any further shots?

(I know normally the school and the doctor are more separate, but as I mentioned, this doctor would know that my daughter attends the pre-school, know the requirements, and know that I have the exemption.)
Your ped has nothing to do with your exemption for school, so should you wish to do more vaxes, he can't tell you that your exemption is no longer valid. He has no authority to do that.

Even though immunization registries cannot be used in a punitive manner, I would remove your child's name from the state immunization registry. Your provider may not even participate in the state registry's program, but you should opt out regardless. I'll get you information on how to go about doing that.
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Old 08-20-2006, 04:08 PM
 
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Vermont immunization registry: http://healthvermont.gov/hc/vtimms/overview.aspx

From what I've gathered, Vermont schools do not have access to the registry - only participating healthcare providers. There is no indication that anyone other than a participating provider has access to the database. Regardless, I would opt out of the registry.

Through its computer-based system, the Registry lets participating health care practices view secure and accurate vaccination records. You’ll see each child’s immunization history – from your practice and other enrolled Vermont providers – organized into one up-to-date, unified record.

When families need documentation of their children’s shots for schools, athletic teams, camps and day care, your Registry software prints out that important data quickly and easily – freeing your staff to spend time on more critical functions.



Here is the number for provider help, but they should be able to give you instructions on how to opt out or contact information. If you have a problem, let me know: 1-888-688-4667
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:58 AM
 
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I don't believe you would be on the regitry considering you are in NY.
I agree with LI that you should simply put an X in the area nd put phil. ex.
Your doc wouldn't likely fill the section out, ours gives a copy of our vaccine records (from when we did vax)
What county are you in. Are you moving to VT?
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I will check out the registry, but I too wondered if it would be an issue given my residence in a different state. Our doctor is in VT, our insurance is VT-based, and the preschool is in VT (not that that has bearing on the registry.) But we live in NY.

(comfybuns, I'll PM you in a minute to address your q's.)

Thanks for the feedback. I'll be taking the form in to the doctor's office today, I think. I'm glad to get the sense that it wouldn't be outrageous to cross that section off (I don't know why I worried that it might be.) Ideally, I'll be able to talk to the doctor, but I don't know if I can count on that.

I actually would like to have a copy of the vax record, and I thought that might be their practice anyway (to attach a separate sheet.) But I didn't want to run the risk of assuming that, and then have the info written onto the form. I also didn't know if the doctor would "feel obligated" to provide information about our vaccination record to this point, and was worried about that.

Long Island, do you specifically recommend writing "religious exemption" instead of "philosophical exemption"? (Both exemptions are allowed in VT, and the waiver form doesn't distinguish between them, actually.) I just wondered if you said "religious" deliberately or not....given the fact that we'd eventually be seeking a religious exemption in the NY schools, or something. I had assumed I'd just inform the doctor that I was filing "an exemption."
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Old 08-21-2006, 06:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyC
I will check out the registry, but I too wondered if it would be an issue given my residence in a different state. Our doctor is in VT, our insurance is VT-based, and the preschool is in VT (not that that has bearing on the registry.) But we live in NY.

Long Island, do you specifically recommend writing "religious exemption" instead of "philosophical exemption"? (Both exemptions are allowed in VT, and the waiver form doesn't distinguish between them, actually.)
Then it's a personal beliefs exemption "including" relgious beliefs. You could write either one. Personally, I would write "religious."

I'm curious about how they would do the registry as well. If you find out anything, please post back.
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