Changes to MMR Vaccine Personal and Philosophical Exemptions

Changes to MMR Vaccine Personal and Philosophical Exemptions

As of July 28, 2019, a new state law removes the personal and philosophical option to exempt children from the MMR vaccine required for school and child care attendance. Medical and religious exemptions are not affected by this new law.

Based on this new law, families will need to provide updated healthcare provider verified immunization paperwork at or before the start of the 2019-20 school year if their student has a personal/philosophical exemption for the MMR vaccine. Children without a medical or religious exemption will need two doses of MMR vaccine to be allowed into school, starting on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.

Because MMR vaccine doses must be administered at least a month apart, children may be entered into school if they have healthcare provider verified paperwork showing at least one dose of MMR vaccine by the beginning of the school year. This will allow a conditional status for up to 30 days, at which point families will need to provide records showing their child received the second dose of vaccine.

In Summary:

  • Personal/philosophical exemptions for MMR are no longer valid
  • Children need healthcare provider verified proof of MMR vaccination by the first day of school
  • Children not compliant with state vaccine requirements may be excluded from school

You can find more information at the WA Department of Health exemption law change web page, including FAQs: www.doh.wa.gov/mmrexemption

If you have any questions, contact your school nurse.