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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I kind of feel like an old timer, don't know if I am or not...but I have been on this forum for a long time and one thing that comes up a lot is moms who are concerned about their child's school and vax exemption. Each state is different with their rules and each school is different in each county but I think it is just valuable for people to share their experience so people here can look to see other's people experiences....
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
my 4 year old son is changing schools this fall. Last June 2004 when I enrolled him in his current school I was given some forms. I told them my son has not been vaxed. They said they have other children with no vax. They gave me a sheet my doctor filled it out and he included another form which said my son was in good health. That was it.

This spring we decided to move my son to another school.. I just got a phone call from the school saying that all I have to do is have my doctor sign a form and again fill out another form saying my son is in good health. Again she said, "we have several parent's who have done similiarly."

that was our experience.

I'm in southern cal.

hope others share their experience so that this can be a helpful thread.
 

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My son is previously vaxed and my district gave us no problem when I submitted a religious exemption. We also submitted an exemption for summer camp and there was also no problem.

However, because of the "genuine and sincere" language in my state's law and because they were aware of prior immunizations, I briefly explained that our religious beliefs had evolved in order to "diffuse" any potential inquiry.

Relief does not even describe what I feel!!!!!
 

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I live in Kentucky. My ds1 started Head Start in the late winter. He had been previously vaxxed but we have moved and changed doctors since stopping vaxing so there are no records locally of the vaccines. In Kentucky there is a form that you have the health department fill out for a religious exemption. I scheduled his school physical at the health department and just handed the nurse the blank form when she asked for vaccine records. She filled it out and handed it back to me, no problems. I gave a copy to the school and was not given problems there either. Very positive, I really expected a fight.
 

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Next year this time, I will be enrolling my DS in a private high school in SoCal so I will report at that time on any problems I face.

Goodness, I have been doing this now for twenty-years!
 

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I just want to chime in and say that families living in every other state except Mississippi and West Virginia (where I live) have vaccine exemption choices. We don't. These two states have no religious or philosophical exemptions....which leaves us the medical exemption. In WV, it has to be written by a WV doctor and renewed annually according to state law (as I last read it.) I have not been able to find a WV doctor willing to write one for a healthy child who has never been vaccinated. We are on a home schooling path due to the vaccine issue. Honestly, we would be on a homeschooling path if we lived in any other state but it angers me that the state deems to know better for my child than I do. To mandate vaccination for entry into public school without any parental exemption is wrong IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
PF-- didn't the rules get challenged last year? I remember something about West Virginia vax laws being challenged and something being reversed? or is it my old brain.
 

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my experience with our current daycare... for both dd and ds I simply submitted the vax card with the religious exemption filled out and notarized. FWIW, its a YMCA run daycare.

In the past, we were asked to leave a daycare because ds wasn't vaxed. Wouldn't have been so bad, but he'd only been there for 2 weeks and in the interview the provider told me that she was fine with his non-vax status.
: We ended up with a much better care provider, but it was a PITA to find someone else on short notice.

just clarifying - I'm in Iowa
 

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INDIANA

I have 2 older kids in school--they were in public schools -I gave the schools the RELIGIOUS VACCINE EXEMPTION FORM I had typed up & notarized -they sent me a form of theirs but I liked mine better-no problem.
I put them both in a private Christian School in Feb --the only question on the application was if they had a diphtheria shot /smallpox shot(old forms I guess )-I put yes for the dip shot & no for the smallpox -no problems.

In IN we have Religious & medical exemptions.
Check out www.vaclib.org for an example of the states exemption wording I used.
 

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Has anyone had any issues with any early intervention services and non vax status?

I have an acquaintance whose son is in need of speech therapy (my opinion) but he is not vaxed. I wonder if she would be opening a huge can of worms seeking any assistance thru the early intervention services provided by the state. We have no religious or philosophical exemption in WV. My thousht is that yes, she would be and would be better persuing it through other avenues. Thoughts?
 

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I just got my exemption for dd to go to pre-K in Queens, NYC. It was more "nerve-wracking" than "hard", I guess. On the wonderful advice of LongIsland, I first turned in a very short one-sentence statement about my religious beliefs. This was "denied until such time that the parent/guardian provide a written explanation of his/her religious belief opposing immunization."

With further help from LongIsland (I am forever in your debt!!!
), I sent a second letter with a slightly more detailed explanation of my beliefs (being very careful not to use any language that would be construed as "philosophical."

APPROVED!!!

In NYC, your exemption request is sent to one person in Manhattan at the Dept. of Education who makes her own, subjective, decision to approve or deny your request. The local school where my DD will be attending had *apparently* never had a non-vax child before and had no idea how to handle the exemption, which is what made the situation more difficult (and no one at the school wanted to handle it, either!).

If you are submitting an exemption request in NYC, I suggest:

a) write up your letter (dated, and with your address on it) stating your religious beliefs as it pertains to immunization.
b) have someone on this board look it over for you to make sure it is going to pass the "sincere and genuine" and "religious" tests.

b) take it too the school, along with the address of: Julia Sykes, Health Service Coordinator, Dept. of Education Immunization Program, 52 Chambers Street, NY NY 10007. and tell the registrar that the letter MUST be sent FROM THE SCHOOL.
c) do NOT answer any questions by the registrar, school nurse, secretaries, principal, etc. about your religious beliefs or about immunizations. I know that the school has to turn in your letter along with "documentation." I would not be surprised if the "documentation" they turn in has a spot for comments by the local school regarding anything you might have said that would give them cause to deny on the basis that your beliefs are not religious.
 

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I live in Washington where all you have to do is check a box on the immunizaton form given by the health department-that simple. We have both religious and philisophical exemptions here. When I registered my daughter for kindergarten all they did was say, okay, I see you've exempted her and that was that. However I do have to go through the registration process again because we have since moved into another city in a different county. Hopefully this time it won't be a problem either-and I will post when I know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks, you guys. Please if more of you can add your experience I think it could be of help to others....especially this time of year where parents' nerves get a bit frayed preparing for school.

thanks
 

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FLORIDA

Duval County.

There is only one woman in the entire county who can hand you the religious exemption form. And before you are granted a meeting with her, you have to go through the dr whose job (he admits) is to determine the validity of your exemption. I finally had to tell this doc to send me in writing what was required to claim the exemption because I was not going to discuss my personal religious beliefs with him. Nothing ever came but I continued to receive calls from the school nurse basically threatening to throw my child out of school. The last straw was when the principal called. I told her I was waiting on info from the doc, and she told me that he told her my expemtion was denied because he decided it was for medical reasons. How could that be I had asked her in disbelief, I never even discussed my reasons with him, other than it was against my religious beliefs. I was fuming as I placed a call to that doc and told him I never received the info, and he told me plain and simple that all I needed was the form, and he transferred me to the only lady in Duval County who could grant me this form to make an appt.

Now I thought the 2nd time around it would be a piece of cake to get the exemption, just let them know I already had one child in school with it...but no, the one lady in Duval County put me off, until I called the FL Dept of Immunization and explained my plight. I got a call within an hour from that one lady in Duval County suddenly able to accomodate me.

So...in FL, know your rights, know when to speak and when to be silent, and know the phone number for the FL Dept of Imm in case you need to set that one lady straight in Duval County. If they act like they don't know how to award you the exemption, let them know the number to call to get instructions...see the site KNOWVACCINES for more info.
 

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suschi - wow, that's good to know! I live north of Jax now (just above the GA line), but that's good to know in case we ever move a bit south.

Georgia - My only experience is with a home daycare provider, licensed by the state. I asked her about keeping DS during my dentist appt and she said she just needed a copy of his shot record or religious exemption.
 

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I'm in WI and since no one else has replied from here I'll do so

We are a homeschooling family, but a couple of years ago DD was in a birth to 3 program which does "require" vax. They handed me a form to fill out and sign and one of the items on the form offered philisophical exemptions for vax. I checked the box and signed the form
 
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