It's a common misconception that all children need their vaccinations to start school. Many schools are telling parents that they are required, but don't bother to inform parents of other options.
“When a school or the media uses the expression “No Shots No School,” they not only mislead the public by omission, they place the health and safety of children, who have had previous vaccine reactions or a family history of vaccine reactions, at risk,” says the National Vaccine Information Center.
Instead of presenting a vaccination record, you may be able to claim an exemption in your state. Exemptions can also be used for preschool, daycare, and other family/child programs.
There are three types of exemptions for vaccinations:
All 50 states have some form of medical exemption. This is for students who are ill, have had an adverse reaction to a vaccine, or who has an immediate family member who has had a bad reaction. Your doctor will be able to help you claim this exemption.
47 states allow for religious exemptions. These can be used if vaccines go against your personal belief system.
Only 18 states allow for philosophical exemptions. If you are able, file this type of exemption if you do not agree with the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
Keep a copy of the exemption that you filed with the school for your own records, as sometimes schools lose the paperwork.
Visit the National Vaccine Information Center to find out what exemptions are allowed in your state.