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NYS Ends Religious Exemptions to School Vaccine Requirements

Written by Catherine Eve  |  04. August 2019

New York State has eliminated nonmedical, including religious exemptions, to school vaccination requirements. This affects children attending day care and pre-kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private, charter or religious school. Long Island schools have been notifiying parents and guardians about this change. 

Medical exemptions are still allowed for children who have certain health conditions, such as a weakened immune system, that prevent them from receiving immunizations. A medical exemption must be issued by a physician licensed to practice medicine in New York State.

A statement released by the New York State Department of Health said, “Proof of immunization must be provided within 14 days after the first day of instruction in September.” If a child without a medical exemption does not have the proper vaccinations, he or she will be legally unable to attend school in New York State.

According to The New York State Department of Health website, the following vaccines are required for attending day care, pre-kindergarten and school:

  • Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and Pertussis vaccine (Dtap/DTP/Tdap)
  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR)
  • Polio vaccine (IPV/OPV)
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (HiB)
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (PCV)

For more information on New York State school vaccination requirements including deadlines and medical exemption forms, visit the New York State Department of Health website

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