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Vaccine Laws
Vaccine Requirements vs. Federal Vaccine Recommendations

State & National Vaccine Law

Legal vaccine requirements that govern being able to attend school or daycare differ from state to state. It is important to understand the difference between a legal requirement and a recommendation. For example, while vaccine policymakers in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that the HPV vaccine be given to children in accordance with the CDC’s recommended childhood vaccine schedule, your state may not require HPV vaccine as a condition of attending school and/or daycare. The bottom line is that your state may not require all federally recommended vaccines for school and daycare attendance.     

Legal Exemptions to Vaccination

All states allow for some type of exemption from vaccination, or re-vaccination. Vaccine exemptions generally fall into three types of exemption – medical, religious belief and personal/conscientious belief. In some states there is also the possibility of exemption based on proof of immunity to a disease. Similar to vaccine requirements, your legal right to be exempt from vaccines is based on your state’s exemption laws.

It is also important to understand that your right to take a religious, philosophical, personal or conscientious belief exemption is under attack in many states and that medical exemption to vaccination is increasingly more difficult to obtain. Please join NVIC’s efforts to protect your human and informed consent right to make voluntary vaccine choices by registering with NVIC’s Advocacy Portal. Once registered, you will receive action alerts for your state, and to learn how to easily and effectively take action to protect choice and communicate with your legislators about the importance of voluntary vaccine decision-making. Start the conversation with your legislator by reading NVIC’s Reforming Vaccine Policy & Law: A Guide.

Below are resources that will help you understand state vaccine requirements, exemptions and more, as well as on diseases and vaccines to decide if vaccination is right for you and/or your child.




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