Monday, August 8, 2011

Obtaining a Texas Vaccine Exemption

All public schools in Texas, and many daycare facilities, must accept the duly legislated vaccine exemptions. Private facilities, including universities and colleges, do not.

The philosophical vaccine exemption ("Exemption From Immunizations for Reasons of Conscience") allows for refusal of each vaccine, individually. Though religious exemption is ostensibly offered, in Texas there is no separate form or protocol for religious exemption - it is considered included in the exemption for reasons of conscience.

To submit your application for exemption online, go to: online exemption form.

To download a .pdf application for exemption for mailing, type "reasons of conscience" in the search bar at the following page: Texas Dep't of State Health Services : Immunizations  

Once TDSHS has the application, it will take about a week to receive the form (or forms - you can request up to 5 forms per child). The form must be duly completed and notarized. The original, notarized form must be delivered to the school or other facility requiring it, where it will be kept on file - be sure to keep a copy. Should the exempt child change schools, the original, notarized form must be delivered to the new facility.

By regulation (not by statute), the Texas exemption is good for only 2 years, at which time the process must be repeated - a good reason to request multiple forms.

To view the Texas vaccine laws, go here.