Religious exemption indicates that there is a provision in the statute that allows parents to exempt their children from vaccination and adults to opt out of vaccination if it contradicts their sincere religious beliefs. Per the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOCC) which enforces Federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, employers MUST offer religious and disability accommodations to vaccine requirements.
Step 1: Download and print the Religious Exemption form below under the section "RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION FORMS (ADULT AND CHILD)". Make sure to print the correct form for either a child or an adult.
Step 2: (For child only) Locate your state code below which allows for Religious Vaccine Exemptions for school and write it on your Religious Vaccination form. CA, NY, ME, MS, and WV will NOT accept Religious Exemptions for students grades K-12.
Step 3: Make sure to get your Religious Exemption form notarized.
Step 4: If the institution requesting vaccination needs further explanation as to why vaccines conflict with/or violate your sincerely held religious belief/observance/practice, please see the "RELIGIOUS CONCERNS" tab on the FOR-US website for detailed information regarding specific religious reasons as to why some may oppose vaccination. Alternatively, rather than explaining why vaccines conflict with/or violate your beliefs, you can follow step #5 below and ask the requesting institution to "see the attachment."
Step 5: If the institution requesting vaccination needs the signature or a letter from a clergy member to back up your request for a Religious Exemption, you may wish to present the information found on the FOR-US website, along with your exemption form to one of your local faith leaders for guidance. FOR-US has sample letters under the tab "CLERGY LETTERS." If you are having difficulty locating a faith leader to help you with this process, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may help you complete the process of submitting a Religious Exemption.
* SOME STATES MAY REQUIRE YOU USE ADDITIONAL FORMS THAT THE STATE PROVIDES.
(From A Voice For Choice Advocacy https://avoiceforchoiceadvocacy.org/ )
All Employees: Per the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOCC) which enforces Federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, employers MUST offer religious and disability accommodations to vaccine requirements.
High Exposure Employees in California: In California, according to the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA)’s Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard, Title 8, California Code of Regulations (CCR) Section 5199, employees who would have occupational exposure (defined as “exposure from work activity or working conditions that is reasonably anticipated to create an elevated risk of contracting any disease caused by ATPs or ATPs-L if protective measures are not in place.”), must be offered a declination statement.
College/University Students in California and other states: There is no law for college students regarding vaccinations, so this is at the discretion of the college/university.
The following is a list of state codes needed to fill out the attached Religious Vaccine Exemption form for CHILDREN. These codes are specifically for exemptions related to school. Please locate your state code below. For more information on statutes https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/school-immunization-exemption-state-laws.aspx
State Statute Religious Exemption
Alabama Ala. Code § 16-30-3 YES
Alaska Ak. Stat. §14.30.125 YES
Arizona Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-872, 873 YES
Arkansas Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-702 YES
California Cal. Health & Safety Code § 120325 et seq. NO
Colorado Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-4-902, 903 YES
Connecticut Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-204a YES
Delaware Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 131 YES
Washington, DC D.C. Code Ann. § 38-501, 506 YES
Florida Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1003.22 YES
Georgia Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-771 YES
Idaho Idaho Code § 39-4801, 4802 YES
Illinois 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/27-8.1 YES
Indiana Ind. Code Ann. § 21-40-5 YES
Iowa Iowa Code Ann. § 139A.8 YES
Kansas Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-5209 YES
Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 214.034 YES
Maine Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 20-A § 6355 NO
Maryland Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-403 YES
Massachusetts Mass. Gen Laws ch.76, § 15 YES
Minnesota Minn. Stat. Ann. § 121A-15 YES
Mississippi Miss. Code Ann. § 41-23-37 NO
Montana Mont. Code Ann. § 20-5-403, 405 YES
Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. § 392.435, 437, 439 YES
New Jersey N.J. Stat. Ann. § 26:1A-9, 9.1 YES
New Mexico N.M. Stat. Ann. § 24-5-1, 3 YES
New York N.Y. Pub. Health Law § 2164 NO
North Dakota N.D. Cent. Code § 23-07-17.1 YES
Ohio Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3313.671 YES
Oklahoma Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 1210.191, 192 YES
Oregon Or. Rev. Stat. § 433.267 YES
Rhode Island R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-38-2 YES
South Carolina S.C. Code Ann. § 44-29-180 YES
South Dakota S.D. Codified Laws § 13-28-7.1 YES
Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-5001 YES
Texas Tex. Edu Code Ann. § 38.001 YES
Utah Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-301, 302 YES
West Virginia W. Va. Code § 16-3-4 NO
Wisconsin Wis. Stat. Ann. § 252.04 YES
Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-4-309 YES
All 50 states have legislation requiring specified vaccines for students. Although exemptions vary from state to state, all school immunization laws grant exemptions to children for medical reasons. There are 45 states and Washington D.C. that grant religious exemptions for people who have religious objections to immunizations. Currently, 15 states allow philosophical exemptions for those who object to immunizations because of personal, moral or other beliefs.
If you have downloaded our Religious Vaccine Exemption to use for yourself or your child, please consider donating to our work.
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The information provided on this website, including but not limited to any form letters or letter templates, does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser; FORUS does not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites. No reader, user, or browser of this site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.
The exemptions on our site have been written by lawyers. We cannot guarantee they will work due to different requirements needed by different schools and employers. The exemptions on our website include all information needed for valid religious exemption.