SB 1410 enacted into Law – Public Act 099-0249

Below is an excerpt of Public Act 099-0249 as it pertains to school vaccine exemptions.

(8) Children of parents or legal guardians who object to health, dental, or eye examinations or any part thereof, to immunizations, or to vision and hearing screening tests on religious grounds shall not be required to undergo the examinations, tests, or immunizations to which they so objectif such parents or legal guardians present to the appropriate local school authority a signed Certificate of Religious Exemption detailing the grounds for objection and the specific immunizations, tests, or examinations to which they object. The grounds for objection must set forth the specific religious belief that conflicts with the examination, test, immunization, or other medical intervention. The signed certificate shall also reflect the parent’s or legal guardian’s understanding of the school’s exclusion policies in the case of a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak or exposure. The certificate must also be signed by the authorized examining health care provider responsible for the performance of the child’s health examination confirming that the provider provided education to the parent or legal guardian on the benefits of immunization and the health risks to the student and to the community of the communicable diseases for which immunization is required in this State. However, the health care provider’s signature on the certificate reflects only that education was provided and does not allow a health care provider grounds to determine a religious exemption. Those receiving immunizations required under this Code shall be provided with the relevant vaccine information statements that are required to be disseminated by the federal National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which may contain information on ircumstances when a vaccine should not be administered, prior to administering a vaccine. A healthcare provider may consider including without limitation the nationally accepted recommendations from federal agencies such as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the information outlined in the relevant vaccine information statement, and vaccine package inserts, along with the healthcare provider’s clinical judgment, to determine whether any child may be more susceptible to experiencing an adverse vaccine reaction than the general population, and if so, thehealthcare provider may exempt the child from an immunization or adopt an individualized immunization schedule. The Certificate of Religious Exemption shall be created by the Department of Public Health and shall be made available and used by parents and legal guardians by the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year. Parents or legal guardians must submit the Certificate of Religious Exemption to their local schoolauthority prior to entering kindergarten, sixth grade, and ninth grade for each child for which they are requesting an exemption. The religious objection stated need not be directed by the tenets of an established religious organization. However, general philosophical or moral reluctance to allow physical examinations, eye examinations, immunizations, vision and hearing screenings, or dental examinations does not provide a sufficient basis for an exception to statutory requirements. The local school authority is responsible for determining if the content of the Certificate of Religious Exemption constitutes a valid religious objection. The local school authority shall inform the parent or legal guardian ofexclusion procedures, in accordance with the Department’s rules under Part 690 of Title 77 of the Illinois Administrative Code, at the time the objection is presented.