Excerpt of Religious Vaccine Exemption from Public Act 099-0249

(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 object

if 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 circumstances 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, the

healthcare 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 school

authority 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 of

exclusion 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.

Public Act 099-0249