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September 2015
In this Issue

  • Unvaccinated Students Will Need Doctor to Confirm Religious Exemption Next School Year

    An ISMS-backed bill, recently signed into law (Senate Bill 1410), will require parents/guardians to complete the new Certificate of Religious Exemption form if they wish to exempt their children from required school immunizations on religious grounds.

    The certificate must be signed by a physician, stating that the student’s doctor counseled the family about the benefits of the vaccines and the dangers of opting out. The form also confirms that the family understands the student’s school exclusion policy should a vaccine-preventable disease break out.

    The new law takes effect Oct. 16, 2015, but does not impact students heading back to school this fall. The requirement will kick in for school year 2016-2017.

    The form is required for children entering kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade for both public and private schools.

    One exception: Students who transfer into an Illinois school after Oct. 16, 2015, from out of state will have to meet the certification requirement for the current 2015-2016 school year.

    Illinois is among 47 states that allow children an exemption from vaccines based on religious beliefs.

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