This legislation changes the process by which parents can exempt their children from the required immunizations children must have before they can enter public school or a day care facility. The law, as proposed by S.F. 380, would require parents to file a certificate developed by the Department of Health explaining the specific vaccine they wish to refuse.
The certificate has to include an explanation of the reasons for the exemption, which can be based on “personal beliefs.” In the certificate, the parent has to acknowledge that their child may be prohibited from attending school or child care in the event of an outbreak of the disease they are not vaccinated against. In order to receive the exemption, the parent also has to include a statement from a health care provider that states the physician has reviewed with the parents the risks and benefits of their decision. Finally, the bill requires that the parents renew the certificate before a child can enter seventh grade.
The bill passed as amended and was sent to the Floor. (S.F. 380)