Illinois allows medical and religious exemptions to mandated vaccines.
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.

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 Kindergarten, 6th and 9th grades.
On the Certificate, each immunization and objection must be listed out. The objection must be of a religious nature.
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.

Daycare, preschool and college students will still need to provide a personal vaccine exemption letter. List the vaccine(s) you are objecting to and the religious reason for that objection. The religious objection may be personal and need not be directed by the tenets of an established religious organization. You do not need top fill out the certificate of religious exemption.

Suggestion for Religious Vaccine Exemption Letter

Flu Vaccine Exemption for Healthcare Workers

 

Selected Applicable Rules from the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules:

TITLE 77: PUBLIC HEALTH
CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
SUBCHAPTER i: MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH
PART 665 CHILD HEALTH EXAMINATION CODE
SECTION 665.280 PHYSICIAN STATEMENT OF IMMUNITY

A physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches, who believes a child to be protected against a disease for which immunization is required may so indicate in writing, stating the reasons, and certify that he/she believes the specific immunization in question is not necessary or indicated. Such a statement should be attached to the child’s school health record and accepted as satisfying the medical exception provision of the regulation for that immunization. These statements of lack of medical need will be reviewed by the Department with appropriate medical consultation. After review, if student is no longer considered to be in compliance, the student is subject to the exclusion provision of the law.

(Source: Amended at 18 Ill. Reg. 4296, effective March 5, 1994)

TITLE 77: PUBLIC HEALTH
CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
SUBCHAPTER i: MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH
PART 665 CHILD HEALTH EXAMINATION CODE
SECTION 665.290 LIST OF NON-IMMUNIZED STUDENTS

An accurate list shall be maintained at every attendance center of all children who have not presented proof of immunity against diphtheria, pertussis (to age 6), tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, rubella, mumps, Haemophilus influenzae type b (as noted in Section 665.240(f)), hepatitis B (as noted in Section 665.240(g)), or Varicella (as noted in Section 665.240(h)).

(Source: Amended at 29 Ill. Reg. 18127, effective October 24, 2005)

TITLE 77: PUBLIC HEALTH
CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
SUBCHAPTER i: MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH
PART 665 CHILD HEALTH EXAMINATION CODE
SECTION 665.510 OBJECTION OF PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN

Parents or legal guardians who object to health, dental or eye examinations or any part thereof, or to immunizations, or to vision and hearing screening tests, on religious grounds shall not be required to submit their children or wards to the examinations or immunizations to which they so object if such parents or legal guardians present to the appropriate local school authority a signed statement of objection, detailing the grounds for the objection. (Section 27-8.1(8) of the School Code) The objection must set forth the specific religious belief that conflicts with the examination, immunization or other medical intervention. The religious objection may be personal and need not be directed by the tenets of an established religious organization. General philosophical or moral reluctance to allow physical examinations, eye examinations, immunizations, vision and hearing screening, or dental examinations will not provide a sufficient basis for an exception to statutory requirements. The local school authority is responsible for determining whether the written statement constitutes a valid religious objection. The local school authority shall inform the parent or legal guardian of measles outbreak control exclusion procedures in accordance with the Department’s rules, Control of Communicable Diseases Code (77 Ill. Adm. Code 690) at the time the objection is presented.

(Source: Amended at 33 Ill. Reg. 8459, effective June 8, 2009)

TITLE 77: PUBLIC HEALTH
CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
SUBCHAPTER i: MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH
PART 665 CHILD HEALTH EXAMINATION CODE
SECTION 665.520 MEDICAL OBJECTION

a) Any medical objection to an immunization must be:

1) Made by a physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches indicating what the medical condition is,

2) Endorsed and signed by the physician on the certificate of child health examination and placed on file in the child’s permanent record.

b) Should the condition of the child later permit immunization, this requirement will then have to be met. Parents or legal guardians must be informed of measles outbreak control exclusion procedures when such objection is presented per Section 665.510.