A child may be exempted from the legal requirement of having any or all of the required doses of vaccines under exceptional circumstances:personal/philosophical, religious, medical or religious membership.
As of July 28, 2019, a new state law removes the personal and philosophical option to exempt children from the MMR vaccine required for school and child care attendance. Medical and religious exemptions are not affected by this new law.
Based on this new law, you will need to provide updated healthcare provider verified immunization paperwork at or before the start of the 2019-2020 school year, starting on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. Children without a medical or religious exemption will need two doses of MMR vaccine to be allowed into school.
Because MMR vaccine doses must be administered at least a month apart, your child may be entered into school if they have healthcare provider verified paperwork showing at least one dose of MMR vaccine by the beginning of the school year. This will place your child under conditional status for up to 30 days, at which point you will need to provide records showing your child received the second dose of vaccine.
- Personal/philosophical exemptions for MMR are no longer valid
- Your child needs healthcare provider verified proof of MMR vaccination by the first day of school
- Children not compliant with state vaccine requirements may be excluded from school
A certificate of exemption form is available from the Washington State Department of Health, school nurse or school office upon request, and must be completed with all of the required documentation and signatures. Medical Exemptions require a health care provider signature.
Religious exemptions must document membership in a church or religious group that does not allow a health care provider to provide medical treatment to a child. Personal exemptions require a signed statement from a health care provider documenting counseling on the benefits and risks of immunizations. More information can be found at the Washington State Department of Health.
Students who have been exempted are susceptible to the disease(s) for which they did not receive adequate vaccine(s). Therefore, in the event of a disease outbreak, they may be excluded from school attendance for the duration of the outbreak.