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Religious Objection to Immunization

Child's Name ______________________________
Parent's Name _____________________________
Address ___________________________________
City/State/ZIP _____________________________
School ____________________________________
Address ___________________________________
City/State/ZIP _____________________________

Dear School Officials, Day Care Providers, Health Care Providers, Hospital Staff, and State Health Officials,

In accordance with the Texas Education Code, Section 38.001, regarding exceptions to immunization requirements, we hereby certify that the administration of vaccine and other immunizing agents to our child, ______________________, conflicts with the tenets and practice of a recognized religion, of which we are adherents. We therefore request that our child be exempted from the school immunization requirements.

Let this letter also apply for religious exemption from the other state immunization requirements in accordance with the religious exemption provisions of Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 161.004 (statewide immunization of children), Human Resource Code, Section 42.043 (admission to day care centers), and Texas Administrative Code Title 25 Part 1 Rule 97.62(immunization requirements in Texas elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education) and Rule 97.101(statewide immunization of children by hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers).

We are informed of and we fully understand the risks and benefits of non-immunization for our child. We swear that all of the foregoing statements are true to the best of our information, knowledge, and belief.

Parent ________________________ Date _________

 

Subscribed and Sworn before me this _____ day of ___________, 200_.


_________________________
Notary's Signature and Seal

 


Education Code
CHAPTER 38.  HEALTH AND SAFETY

Sec. 38.001.  Immunization; Requirements; Exceptions.

(a) Each student shall be fully immunized against diphtheria, rubeola, rubella, mumps, tetanus, and poliomyelitis, except as provided by Subsection (c).

(b) Subject to Subsection (c), the Texas Board of Health may modify or delete any of the immunizations in Subsection (a) or may require immunizations against additional diseases as a requirement for admission to any elementary or secondary school.

(c) Immunization is not required for a person's admission to any elementary or secondary school if the person applying for admission:

(1) submits to the admitting official:

(A) an affidavit or a certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice medicine in the United States, in which it is stated that, in the physician's opinion, the immunization required would be injurious to the health and well-being of the applicant or any member of the applicant's family or household; or

(B) an affidavit signed by the applicant or, if a minor, by the applicant's parent or guardian stating that the immunization conflicts with the tenets and practice of a recognized church or religious denomination of which the applicant is an adherent or member, except that this exemption does not apply in times of emergency or epidemic declared by the commissioner of public health; or

(2) is a member of the armed forces of the United States and is on active duty.

(d) The Texas Department of Health shall provide the required immunization to children in areas where no local provision exists to provide those services.

(e) A person may be provisionally admitted to an elementary or secondary school if the person has begun the required immunizations and if the person continues to receive the necessary immunizations as rapidly as is medically feasible.  The Texas Department of Health shall adopt rules relating to the provisional admission of persons to an elementary or secondary school.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff.
May 30, 1995 .

Human Resource Code

CHAPTER 42.  REGULATION OF CERTAIN FACILITIES, HOMES, AND AGENCIES THAT PROVIDE CHILD-CARE SERVICES
SUBCHAPTER A.  GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 42.043.  Rules for Immunizations.

(a) The department shall make rules for the immunization of children in facilities regulated under this chapter.

(b) The department shall require that each child at an appropriate age have a test for tuberculosis and be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, mumps, rubella, and rubeola and against any other communicable disease as recommended by the Texas Department of Health.  The immunization must be effective on the date of first entry into the facility.  However, a child may be provisionally admitted if the required immunizations have begun and are completed as rapidly as medically feasible.

(c) The Texas Department of Health shall make rules for the provisional admission of children to facilities regulated under this chapter and may modify or delete any of the immunizations listed in Subsection (b) of this section or require additional immunizations as a requirement for admission to a facility.

(d) No immunization may be required for admission to a facility regulated under this chapter if a person applying for a child's admission submits one of the following affidavits:

(1) an affidavit signed by a licensed physician stating that the immunization would be injurious to the health and well-being of the child or a member of the child's family or household; or

(2) an affidavit signed by the child's parent or guardian stating that the immunization conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized religious organization of which the applicant is an adherent or a member.

(e) Each regulated facility shall keep an individual immunization record for each child admitted, and the records shall be open for inspection by the department at all reasonable times.

(f) The Texas Department of Health shall provide the immunizations required by this section to children in areas where there is no local provision of these services.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2362, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff.Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 43, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1993 ; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1063, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997 .


Health and Safety Code
SUBTITLE H. PUBLIC HEALTH PROVISIONS
CHAPTER 161. PUBLIC HEALTH PROVISIONS
SUBCHAPTER A. IMMUNIZATIONS

Sec. 161.004.  Statewide Immunization of Children.

(a) Every child in the state shall be immunized against vaccine preventable diseases caused by infectious agents in accordance with the immunization schedule adopted by the board.

(b) Hospitals shall be responsible for:

(1) referring newborns for immunization at the time the newborn screening test is performed;

(2) reviewing the immunization history of every child admitted to the hospital or examined in the hospital's emergency room or outpatient clinic; and

(3) administering needed vaccinations or referring the child for immunization.

(c) Physicians shall be responsible for reviewing the immunization history of every child examined and administering any needed vaccinations or referring the child for immunization.

(d) A child is exempt from an immunization required by this section if:

(1) immunization conflicts with the tenets of an organized religion to which a parent, managing conservator, or guardian belongs; or

(2) the immunization is medically contraindicated based on an examination of the child by a physician licensed by any state in the United States .

(e) For purposes of this section, "child" means a person under 18 years of age.

(f) The board shall adopt rules that are necessary to administer this section.

(g) A parent, managing conservator, or guardian may choose the health care provider who administers the vaccine or immunizing agent under this chapter.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 43, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1,1993

 


Taken From The Texas Department of Health: http://www.tdh.state.tx.us/immunize/exempt_1.htm

Exemptions to Immunization Requirements

Chapter 97.62 of the Texas Administrative Code* (TAC) describes the conditions under which individuals can seek exemption from
Texas immunization requirements.

Medical Contraindications. Children and students can be exempted from one or all vaccine requirements if a medical condition exists that would make it harmful for them to be vaccinated as required.

Religious Conflicts. Children and students can be exempted from some or all vaccine requirements if vaccination conflicts with their families' religious beliefs.

Service in the Armed Forces. Persons who are on active duty with the U.S. armed forces are exempted from Texas vaccine requirements.

Exemptions for Religious Conflicts
Like 48 other states,
Texas law provides for exemption from vaccination requirements in cases where vaccination conflicts with a family's religious beliefs or practices. States differ in how this exemption is defined and documented, and what may be sufficient documentation in one state may not be sufficient in another.

Like 35 other states, Texas law does not allow exemption based on personal or philosophical beliefs.

Title 25 Health Services 97.62(2)* (TAC) states:
"A signed affidavit must be presented by the child's parent or guardian stating that the immunization conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized religious organization of which the applicant is an adherent or member. This exemption does not apply in times of emergency or outbreak declared by the commissioner of health or local health authority."

signed affidavit - signed by the parent or guardian in the presence of a notary public. The affidavit does not have to be signed by a minister or church official.

immunization - if the conflict does not include all vaccines, specify the one(s) that will not be received.

tenets and practices of a recognized religious organization - the department does not maintain a list of tenets, practices, or religious organizations and does not require that the tenet, practice, or religious organization be specified. There is no legal basis for requiring that a tenet, practice, or religious organization be identified.

adherent or member - no documentation is required

does not apply - Disease outbreaks indicate increased risk to the community and the unvaccinated child. For this reason, children may be excluded from a school or child-care facility if there is increased incidence of a disease against which the child is not protected. In order to prevent unnecessary exclusions, a record of any vaccines the child has received should be documented at the school or child-care facility.

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April 5, 2008

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