Personal, Religious Exemption for Elementary and High School
IL Public Act 099-0249 was signed into law by Governor Rauner in August 2015, requiring those who have a religious objection to immunizations or any immunizing agent to complete and submit a Certificate of Religious Exemption form available from both IDPH and ISBE, after Oct.16th, 2015 for those entering Daycare, Preschool, Kindergarten, 6th and 9th grades.
On the Certificate, each immunization and objection must be listed out. The objection must be of a religious nature but can be personal and not a tenet of a particular faith. The healthcare provider will sign the form verifying that they provided the information on the risks of foregoing vaccination and benefits for your child and the community of vaccination however, the law clearly states that the healthcare provider is not approving your religious exemption.
This form will then be turned into the local school authority and they will determine if objection meets religious criteria (vs. philosophical). They are not to validate your religious beliefs.
If an outbreak or exposure to a vaccine preventable disease occurs, the local school authority may require your child to remain at home for the duration of the outbreak.
The medical exemption must be signed by a medical doctor licensed to practice medicine in Illinois. The new language also clarifies that healthcare providers may use their clinical judgment, along with many sources of information about vaccination, without limitation, to assess whether a child is more likely to experience an adverse vaccine reaction and if so, may issue a medical exemption or adopt an individualized schedule. When appropriate, please share this information with your healthcare providers if you think your child may be prone to experience an adverse vaccine reaction. The inclusion of the wording “without limitation” means that the healthcare provider’s clinical recommendation cannot be arbitrarily overruled if they determine a medical exemption to a vaccine or any immunizing agent is appropriate for their patient. The Illinois Department of Public Health will no longer be reviewing medical exemptions that exempt a child from vaccination or an immunization due to medical reasons. However, IDPH may review statements of immunity from physicians in accordance with PART 665 CHILD HEALTH EXAMINATION CODE, SECTION 665.280 PHYSICIAN STATEMENT OF IMMUNITY.
Without limitation, healthcare providers may use federal guidelines, the information in the Vaccine Information Statement, the vaccine insert or their clinical judgment to determine if a child is susceptible to experience an adverse vaccine reaction, if so they may exempt a child from vaccination or adopt an individualized schedule according to the health needs of the child.
Medical exemptions to immunization will not be turned over to IDPH for review but will be kept in the child’s record.