• Jessica Conti
    I'm very concerned by what I'm learning about the specific lack of research with immunization safety. I'm curious to know; What do doctors look for in order to justify a medical exemption? I will be discussing this question with a new family doctor in the coming months, however I want to educate myself as much as I can prior to our visit.
  • Marian Lerner
    Yes, I'd like to learn more about exemptions because people keep telling me, including my doctor, that my daughter won't be able to go to school and will have have to be homeschooled. She has had no vaccines ever and will not be getting any.
  • Erika Wallace
    So I was able to get exemptions for both of my kids. I gave my doctor full medical history from both sides of family. My sister had a horrible reaction to gardasil and flu shot. So I was able to use that, as well as my mother has a auto immune disease. So that worked as well. My husband and I are both very healthy, but because my family members have had problems in health that was enough. I think the key is finding a doctor that believe that vaccines are unsafe. If you give him your history of health problems, then he has the evidence to back up the medical exemption that he already wants to give you.
  • Jeri Rand
    I am concerned that the "RIGHT" to choose could be taken away by any government agency. Once it starts, there will be no stopping and that should make any American shutter and wake up. We have to demand our right to choose what is best for our children. Especially regarding their health!
  • Shena McLelland
    Hi, I am based in the U.K. But my daughter is at uni in Virginia. Our family doctor here gave her a medical exemption from vaccines because she has been so unwell in the last two years (on the mend now but family doctor here in the U.K. does not believe she should be vaccinated at all going forward) but the uni are saying she will have to be vaccinated by the time she returns in January 2018 having been home for Christmas. Does anyone know how I should tackle this? Am concerned that if we persist in refusing to have her vaccinated then they will send her home or insist on vaccinating her there. There is a Californian doctor called Tim O'Shea who says we can send a very strong legal type letter saying she is exempt and warning the uni not to discriminate against her for being un vaccinated. He says it works but I would like to find a parent who has maybe gone down this route for some advice if there is anyone out there. She is the happiest she has been in years and I am fearful that they will send her home or give her a hard time. Would love to hear from anyone with their view/experience. Many thanks Shena
  • myblueyzcu
    My two unvaxxed children are homeschooled. However, I still want to obtain a medical exemption due to medical histories (I have the proof/medical records and histories to substantiate the exemption). However, I just switched doctors because my old doctor (who is an MD but she practices holistic medicine) is about to retire. So I found a new one and she is willing to do an exemption but she needs the verbiage to put into the letter because she has never done one. Can someone PLEASE share their medical exemption letter so that I can give her an example? I want this for the future if the government attempts to do mandatory vaccines or if we need medical needs and it's not with our doctor.
  • Ellen S.
    I'm not a legal professional nor parent of college age child, but have claimed religious exemptions in lower schools. I didn't see if you indicated your daughters age, but I guess you would need to determine if you would complete and sign any exemption form as her guardian or if she would do that herself. Anyway, here's the approach I personally would start with if I were in your shoes...

    Below italics is an excerpt from Virginia law immunization requirements for college students found at this link: ยง 23.1-800. Health histories and immunizations required; exemptions

    A. No full-time student who enrolls for the first time in any baccalaureate public institution of higher education is eligible to register for his second semester or quarter unless he
    (i) has furnished, before the beginning of the second semester or quarter of enrollment, a health history consistent with guidelines adopted by each institution's board of visitors that includes documented evidence, provided by a licensed health professional or health facility, of the diseases for which the student has been immunized, the numbers of doses given, the date on which the immunization was administered, and any further immunizations indicated or
    (ii) objects to such health history requirement on religious grounds, in which case he is exempt from such requirement.

    D. Any student is exempt from the immunization requirements set forth in subsections B and C who
    (i) objects on the grounds that administration of immunizing agents conflicts with his religious tenets or practices, unless the Board of Health has declared an emergency or epidemic of disease, or
    (ii) presents a statement from a licensed physician that states that his physical condition is such that administration of one or more of the required immunizing agents would be detrimental to his health.

    If you are sure you want to go the medical exemption route (rather than a religious exemption, which I discuss below), you could...

    1) Ask your daughter's U.K. doctor to write the statement as mentioned in part D. ii., but it's possible the university won't accept it from out of the country. I have no idea about that.

    2) If an out-of-country doc statement doesn't work, would the U.K. doc at least help locate and communicate with a U.S. physician in proximity to your daughter who will see her and write the statement based on her history? Also, even if she can't find a doc in time for the exemption next semester, I encourage you to get the official letter from the U.K. doc anyway, so your daughter has it on hand and have copies of all of her medical records released to you and to her and review for thoroughness and accuracy ASAP so that she can find a primary physician in the states who will support her and decisions not to vaccinate. It's important for her to have her history available so she and a supportive doc can advocate for her in case of emergency, which I pray/hope never happens.

    Additionally, depending on the university, I'm wondering if they'd require the doc issuing the statement to complete page 3 of the attached form, which contains the Medical Exemption section. The need for the form seems to be only for lower grades levels, but if a doc is writing a letter anyway, might be worth it to have the form completed at the same time. On the other hand, sometimes it's in one's best interest not to volunteer more than is absolutely necessary, so maybe complete it, but don't offer it unless asked. Even then, I might challenge them on it first because there's no mention of it in the law code for college age. It seems the letter from the doc should suffice.

    3) Personally, I would simply fill out the religious exemption form (must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public, as indicated), keep a copy, submit original to the school, and consider it done. I would confirm the exact correct individual and office mailing address and send it certified mail, signature required, so that they can't claim they never got it.

    (In case you're concerned, I couldn't find any language implying your daughter would need to "prove" anything about her religious beliefs. Happy to discuss this further if you have questions about it, but I personally would not worry at all about turning in the form. And I'd simply answer anyone questioning it with, "I'm claiming my lawful exemption in accordance with Commonwealth of Virginia law." If someone were to persist (i.e. bully me about it, "I understand your concerns, however, I've provided you with the required documentation. Have a beautiful day! : )

    Also, here is a general link to the Virginia Department of Health website which contains or leads to the various links above. http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/immunization/requirements/

    Really interested in your thoughts and feedback. I'll be curious as to whether any of this is helpful at all.

    All the best to you and your daughter!
    7abea002536~3 (378K)
  • Ellen S.
    What state do you live in? A good place to start is usually on your state's Department of Health website and search "immunization exemption".
  • Ellen S.
    What state are you in? Check the state's Department of Health website for their requirements for a letter, particular form, both, etc. The less the state law indicates, the less I would volunteer. (As a homeschool advocate, I believe in this approach with education requirements, so maybe that sounds/feels familiar to you, too.) I feel the letter from a doc should be thorough but succinct, i.e. "short and sweet" including a list of the requirements from which the student is to be exempted and a general statement that it's due to confidential patient medical history that indicates vaccines have a strong likelihood to be detrimental to the patient's health. Something simple along those lines is where I'd start. Mailed, certified/signature letter to the appropriate administrator. Maybe more detail is required by your state, but don't automatically be bullied into jumping through hoops for them! Good luck. Would love to know how things go.
  • Anton
    Thank you for bringing this up: homeschooled. I will consider homeschooling too. However, I need step-by-step help since I am planning to have my own family soon, however, I am in Canada, not US. For example, when the child is born, he/she will be registered and there will be need to find family doctor, most of whom are pro-vaccine. I am wondering what is the step-by-step procedure legally-wise to keep vaccines off? I need step-by-step help of what to do, if I want to have my children homeschooled. Should I live without family doctor, or do I need to find one, or is there homeschooling exemption from vaccines? Thank you.
  • Anton
    Thank you for that information. However, I am in an earlier stage of a family, planning to have children in few years. I need step-by-step help of what has to be written, completed form/exemption and when (e.g.) before child is born or by certain age. I plan to homeschool, but legally-wise I still think there has to be a family doctor, and chances are - provaccine one. May you please let me know how to deal legally at the early stage of the family? Thank you. One more thing - I am Canadian, not live in US.
  • myblueyzcu
    Hello Ellen, Thank you for your reply. I am in Arkansas. I am needing this medical exemption letter for all things other than education purposes. My children are homeschooled so that isn't the issue. Our new doctor said that she'd write the letter but she needs to see one to know the wording to use since she has never written one. Our state's education requirements for a medical exemption is a document that is filled out (not a letter). But that is not what we are wanting. We want a letter from our doctor so that we can use it for all things medical so that our children are exempt due to personal and family health histories.
  • Tammy Ayscue
    There are links to exemptions for all states in the US on www.nvic.org Virginia has one of the simplest religious exemption forms to use. Just print and have it notorized. So far haven't had any problems with school or daycare.
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