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Pop Quiz – Do You Know the Protocol When Parents Seek to 'Opt Out' of Mandatory Vaccinations?
Posted on: 5/7/2018

Summer is almost here! For pediatricians and other primary care physicians, this means an influx of physicals for youngsters heading off to summer camp. By mid-summer, you’ll be in back-to-school mode with a flurry of requests for physicals for students entering certain grades. 

But do you know what to do when parents want their children to skip required school immunizations or various exams based on their faith?   

Illinois law requires that parents and guardians complete the Certificate of Religious Exemption form if they wish to exempt their children from required school immunizations on religious grounds.

The certificate, which must be signed by a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant, states that the student's doctor counseled the family about the benefits of the vaccines and the dangers of opting out. The form also serves to confirm that the family understands the student's school exclusion policy should a vaccine-preventable disease break out.

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

To learn more, access ISMS' medical legal guideline, Childhood Immunization Exemptions.*

Also visit ISMS' Immunizations and Vaccinations webpage.  

Questions? Contact the ISMS advocacy team by calling 800-782-4767 ext. 1470, or sending an email

This ISMS medical legal guideline is a member benefit and is password protected.

If you need to request a username and password, contact online support at 888-476-7776 or onlinehelp@isms.org between 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. After-hours requests are answered promptly the next business day. You may also register online or retrieve your username or password.

*This guideline is for educational purposes only. 

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