Senate Response to IVAC Inquiry Re Exemptions

In response to IVAC’s letter to Senator Don Harmon regarding any changes in vaccine exemptions, IVAC received a letter from the Attorney General stating…

RE: FOIA Request for Review –2014PAC31262

This determination is issued pursuant to section 9.5(c) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 ILCS 140/9.5(c) (West 2012)). For the reasons stated below, the Public Access Counselor has determined that no further action is warranted as to this matter.

Senator Harmon referred our letter to the Illinois Senate:

Excerpts from Illinois Senate Response

November 3, 2014

With that said, Senator Harmon has requested that I respond to your request as a constituent inquiry. As you may know, Senator Harmon—like all members of the General Assembly—receives numerous requests of various types from his constituents. While Senator Harmon and his staff employ their best efforts to respond to each of these requests, the nature of certain requests are beyond the purview of his office, and the resources provided to legislators to serve all of the constituents in their districts are not unlimited.

As a matter of courtesy, please find responses to your questions below. Please direct any future questions or requests for public records that you may have involving the Illinois

Department of Public Health’s Immunization Advisory Committee (“IAC”) directly to the Department.

1) a)What is the Illinois Department of Public Health ‘s Immunization Advisory Committee (L4C) doing to change vaccination religious exemption requirements?

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the IAC has discussed and recommended to the Department using a form for parent(s)/guardian(s) and the health care provider to complete when submitting a religious exemption prior to entering school. The Department notes that philosophical exemptions are frequently submitted as a religious exemption. The IAC is allowed to make recommendations to the Department and the Department can accept or reject the recommendations. To date, the Department has not addressed the form issue.

b) What bills are before the legislature regarding exemption change?

None at this time.

2) Is this an attempt to change Illinois?

a) School Code (105 IL CS5/2 7-8.1-Yes, per rule change.

b) Administrative Rules-Public Health Sec. 695.30: Exceptions —Yes

c) Administrative Code-Public Health College Requirements Sec. 694.210: Religious Exemption. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, this issue has not be discussed but would most likely follow the Sec. 695.30 language at a later date.

3) What are the IA C members’ names, addresses, job titles and service dates?

See attached document


4) Transcript of May 14, 2014 IAC meeting

See attached minutes and notes



Eric M. Madiar

Chief Legal Counsel & Parliamentarian

EMM/ 2 enclosures



Excerpts from May 14, 2014 Illinois Advisory Committee meeting minutes:

  1. Immunization Rules updates, exemptions and discussion

-Sub-committee requests a document should be signed by the parent stating specifics on religious beliefs, by vaccine. The medical provider should also sign the document.

-The form can’t be used for philosophical or personal reasons.

-Dr. Chandra suggested the form be completed annually.

-Discussion around who completes the document (Waiver) first? Agreed.. .parent followed by provider.

-Suggested start annually in 2015.

-Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) has good declination form. Suggest adding some of the information.

-Additional language suggested by Dr. Chugh …. and others in the community. -Suggest to review the form again (Dr. Daum).

-Discussion on ownership of documents “should stay with the local school authority as the law is written”. Final decision still under discussion. Potentially a joint ownership between ISBE and IDPH.

Jan Daniels made a point that this requirement should also be required for students coming in from out-of-state at any grade level.

-Discussion that the form should be annual.

-Dr. Daum commented that he does not want too much information because the parent won’t read it.

-Tasks to be done by next meeting include certificate with signature, finalize instruction sheet, and provider talking points,

-Jan Daniels provided information on submitting a medical exemption, how it should be routed, what it needs to include, etc.