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Vaccine Laws

      Many people are opposed to vaccines but unaware of their legal rights. Common questions about immunization laws generally fall into a few categories. In most cases, vaccines are NOT mandatory. (If you live in California, read question #8.) If you need legal advice, contact a vaccine lawyer.

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400 Critical Vaccine Studies

1. Young Child:
Can the doctor or hospital make me vaccinate my baby?

2. Public School:
Are vaccines mandatory for my children to get into a public daycare, school, or college?

3. Private School:
Are vaccines mandatory for my children to get into a private daycare, school, or college?

4. Employer:
My employer is requiring vaccines. Do I have to get vaccinated to keep my job?

5. Foreign Travel:
I am a U.S. citizen and plan to travel to a foreign country. Are vaccines mandatory for me and my family?

6. U.S. Entry:
I am a citizen of a country other than the USA. Are vaccines mandatory for me and my family to visit or live in the United States?

7. Military:
I am a member of the United States military. I don't want to take vaccines. What are my options?

8. California:
I live in California. They recently passed a new law prohibiting exemptions. What are my options?



1. Can the doctor or hospital make me vaccinate my baby?

Sample Letter:
My daughter's well-baby appointment is coming up in a month (along with more scheduled vaccinations). I am confident that we will be able to delay them by explaining that we are currently researching vaccines in order to make a more informed choice. I don't currently belong to a church although I am religious, believing in God and having a deep-rooted belief system. However, my decision not to vaccinate has little to do with it! How can the affidavit be changed to reflect my religious beliefs if they just aren't the foundation for my decision? And the state laws I read said nothing about how to go about exempting or where to send such an affidavit. Thank you.

Response:
Vaccines are NOT required for infants and young children. State vaccine laws are generally written for children going to daycare or school. If you don't want vaccines for your young child, simply tell your doctor that you've decided against vaccines at this time. You don't need to sign a waiver, discuss you religious views, or explain your reasons for opposing vaccines. Also, you don't have to listen to a condescending lecture from the doctor.

Your doctor is likely to become angry and may try to intimidate or coerce you into getting the vaccines. He or she may claim the vaccines are required or accuse you of being a bad parent risking your child's life. Many doctors threaten to stop seeing you and your child. This is a common tactic, so be prepared. If this occurs, you should be grateful that this dysfunctional relationship with your healthcare provider is ending. Naturopathic physicians are a good option for many people.


2. Are vaccines mandatory for my children to get into a public daycare, school, or college?

Response:
In most states, vaccines are NOT required to enroll in a public daycare, school or college. Most states offer a philosophical or religious exemption. Acquire a copy of the vaccine laws of your state to learn about your rights. Then write and submit an exemption. (Some states provide their own exemption form.) You can research the laws on your own or use the map below provided by the
National Vaccine Information Center.

On the map below, click on the state that you are interested in to learn more about that state's vaccine exemption laws.

HawaiiOregonCaliforniaNevadaUtahIdahoWyomingColoradoArizonaNew MexicoTexasLouisianaMississippiArkansasOklahomaKansasMissouriNebraskaSouth DakotaIowaIllinoisIndianaKentuckyTennesseeAlabamaFloridaGeorgiaSouth CarolinaNorth CarolinaVirginiaWest VirginiaDistrict of ColumbiaMarylandDelawareNew JerseyConnecticutRhode IlandMassachusettsNew HampshireVermontMaineNew YorkPennsylvaniaOhioMichiganWisconsinMinnesotaNorth DakotaMontanaWashingtonAlaska


3. Are vaccines mandatory for my children to get into a private daycare, school, or college?

Response:
Many private institutions honor vaccine exemptions. However, private institutions may not be legally required to accept your non-vaccinated child. We recommend calling the daycare, school or college prior to enrollment and asking about their policy. Tell them that your child is not vaccinated and you want to know if this will prevent him or her from being admitted. It's better to find out about their vaccine policies early in the admissions process so that you and your child are not surprised mid-semester when vaccines may be required to stay enrolled.


4. My employer is requiring vaccines. Do I have to get vaccinated to keep my job?

Sample Letters:
Please, I need some help! I work in a hospital. Up until this year we could just sign a paper stating we didn't want to take the flu vaccine. This year, my exemption was denied. They know that the two doctors who told me never to get a flu vaccine because I had a reaction, are now dead. So I have been told that I have to get the vaccine or I have no job! I can't fight this alone. Do you know anyone that can help me? There are so few jobs here. I do not know what to do.

Hi, thanks for your great website. I work as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at an assisted living home. They are telling us we have to get the flu vaccine or show proof that we got it somewhere else. I have never gotten the flu vaccine in my life. I am in my 50's and don't want the vaccine. Other nurses besides myself are having the same problem. What can we do?

I recently started work at a doctor's office that is managed by a large hospital in our community. A health screening was required and my blood was drawn for immunities, which are low for some vaccines. I am anti-vaccine and don't want to receive them but the company says that vaccination is mandatory to work there. How can I refuse and still keep my employment?

Hi, I am president of a small construction company. We were just verbally awarded a nice contract with regional health in our hometown. We have worked for them for years through various general contractors. This year, they have changed their policy and are now requiring flu vaccines for all my workers at my expense. I was wondering if you could offer me some advice on how to combat this. So far, I have tried to come up with a defense through OSHA, which has no problem with employer-required vaccines but does say that employees are never required to sign off on liability (and even if they did, it can be reversed). Any advice you have would be appreciated.

My employer is requiring me to get the flu vaccine or be terminated. For religious exemption, they want a letter from a pastor stating the reasons the church does not believe in vaccines, written on the church's letterhead. They say that the only medical exemption for allergies is for a documented severe reaction to eggs and/or a doctor's note stating why it would be bad for our health. I do not belong to a church that has these views. My allergies are to MSG, thimerosal, and slightly to eggs. I have asthma. I am not going to take the vaccine. I have come to the conclusion that it's bad medicine. I do not want an autoimmune disease or cancer. I need a good lawyer and a good doctor and/or clergy that would back me up. Thank you for your time and efforts on our behalf.

Response:
This type of medical tyranny is happening all over the nation. Many employees are required to get an annual influenza vaccine or they will be terminated. Other employees must show proof of vaccination or immunity against pertussis, hepatitis B, and/or MMR. Some companies allow their employees to reject the required vaccines but they are obligated to wear an uncomfortable respiratory mask all day during work hours.

Some employers who require vaccines from their employees may be doing this to protect themselves from liability. They believe that by vaccinating their employees they are passively protecting their patients. (The vaccinated employee should be less likely to contract the disease and spread it to others.) However, studies do not support this practice. For example, the following study shows no benefit to vaccinating healthcare workers to protect older residents in long-term care facilities. Other studies show that hand-washing is the most effective way to protect against spreading influenza. For example, read the abstracts of this study and this study.

As pharmaceutical companies and health authorities continue their push to mandate as many adult vaccines as possible, more and more employers are likely to compel their workers to receive vaccines or lose their jobs. You could try submitting an exemption or contacting a vaccine lawyer for support. Nurses and other healthcare workers can get advice and support from the following organization: Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines.


5. I am a U.S. citizen and plan to travel to a foreign country. Are vaccines mandatory for me and my family?

Response:
Vaccines are rarely required for travel from the United States to foreign destinations. They may be recommended but are rarely required, despite what some pushy and misinformed health authorities may tell you. Some vaccines, such as the yellow fever shot, may be required when traveling to rural regions of Africa or South America during seasons when yellow fever infection is officially reported. Check the
CDC's travel website for more information.

Sample Letter:
I'm about to go abroad to South America. I don't want to take the recommended vaccines because I really believe in my body. Yellow fever, however, is from a mosquito and some people die from it. Hepatitis A is not that bad, if I'm informed. Anyway, what do you think about those travel vaccines? Are they really just moneymakers for corporations or are travel vaccines different than vaccines for children?

All vaccines pose risks that must be weighed against their purported benefits. Travel vaccines can harm adults just as childhood vaccines can harm children. Of course, some people are harmed from the diseases, so you must do your research. To help with your research, the Vaccine Safety Manual has a chapter wholly devoted to travel vaccines, including vaccines for yellow fever, typhoid fever, cholera, japanese encephalitis, and more.


6. I am a citizen of a country other than the USA. Are vaccines mandatory for me and my family to visit or live in the United States?

Response:
Vaccines are not mandatory to receive a green card or live in the United States. The U.S. State Department provides
Form I-601 which allows immigrants to file an exemption to vaccines "if compliance with the vaccination requirement would be contrary to the alien's religious beliefs or moral convictions." (There is a steep fee to file this exemption.) Authorities may not tell you about this waiver form unless you ask and are persistent. For more information, visit the U.S. State Department website or talk with a lawyer.

Sample Letter:
I am about to apply for green cards for our family. We have discovered that a medical examination is mandatory and a long list of vaccinations is required unless we have proof that we have had these already. We wish to avoid any vaccines. There is a clause allowing either a religious or moral exemption to vaccines but I wonder if our application for green cards would then be immediately rejected.

Vaccines are not required to receive your green cards and enter the United States. Authorities may try to intimidate you, but you have the legal right to reject vaccines based on your religious or moral convictions, provided they are sincere. (Authorities may interview you to confirm that your convictions are sincere.) Many people are granted the exemption without experiencing any problems. However, if you are still concerned, you may wish to hire a lawyer.


7. I am a member of the United States military. I don't want to take vaccines. What are my options?

Response:
It could be difficult to avoid vaccines in the military. You may wish to discuss your options with a qualified
lawyer. Additional resources can be found here and by visiting the U.S. Department of Defense Immunization Resource Center.


8. I live in California. They recently passed a new law prohibiting exemptions. What are my options?

Response:
California recently passed a law prohibiting philosophical and religious exemptions to vaccination for enrollment in both public and private schools. Dr. Kelly Sutton, a California medical doctor, has put together a program to determine if your child qualifies for a
medical exemption. Dr. Ken Stoller, a California medical doctor, will also evaluate your family history and genetics to determine if your child qualifies for a medical exemption.


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