School immunization requirements exist to protect students and members of their community from serious vaccine-preventable diseases by ensuring high vaccination rates.
Vaccines are one of the great public health advances of the 20th century, and prevent hundreds of thousands of illnesses in the US every year. Vaccines protect both the person vaccinated and those around them from serious diseases, a concept known as herd immunity. Herd immunity protects other members of the community, such as babies too young to be vaccinated or those who cannot receive immunizations because of a medical condition.
Revised Religious Exemption Requirement from MA Department of Public Health
As a reminder, to address concerns about religious exemptions to vaccines and ensure that the student body is best protected from vaccine preventable disease, per DPH requirements, beginning in the fall of 2017 religious exemptions to vaccination must be renewed annually, like medical exemptions.
An annual renewal means that parents/guardians
- Must write and sign a new religious exemption
- Must see their child’s school nurse to sign an acknowledgement of possible exclusion for CD exposure.
All religious exemptions should be dated by the signing parent/guardian to allow for monitoring of annual renewals each school year. Annual renewal of exemptions should occur at the start of each school year.