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Arkansas
State Vaccine Requirements
Posted Date: December 03, 2014


Quick Fact: Immunization requirements shall not apply if the parents/legal guardian of the child or the student objects on the grounds that immunization conflicts with the religious or philosophical beliefs of the parent/guardian or student.  To obtain an exemption parents/guardian/student must (1) sign a notarized statement requesting a religious, philosophical or medical exemption from the Department of Health, (2) complete an educational component developed by the Department of Health, (3) sign an informed consent with a refusal to vaccinate statement and (4) sign a statement of understanding that the unimmunized child/student may be removed from school during an outbreak.  The pertussis vaccination requirement shall not apply to any child with a sibling, either whole blood or half blood, who has had a serious adverse reaction to the pertussis antigen, which reaction resulted in a total permanent disability.  Medical exemptions are also allowed.

Other Resources: Many vaccination and exemption information links are date specific. If the links below have expired, click on the state's department of health, or immunization program link provided below, as they are likely to provide links to updated information. The General Information link leads to the overview page provided by the state at the time of this webpage's update and may also be helpful.  Please email NVIC with broken link information.  

K-12 School Information  Higher Ed  Daycare Information 

Vaccination Requirements for Healthcare Workers, Patients, Inmates & Developmentally Disabled

State of Arkansas Legislature - see applicable statutes and their hyperlinks below. Visit NVIC’s Advocacy Portal for information on legislation introduced impacting vaccine exemption rights.

State of Arkansas Department of Health  

State of Arkansas Immunization Program

State of Arkansas Immunization Registry Information

The information contained on NVIC's web pages is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be medical or legal advice. Those seeking medical or legal advice should obtain the services of a competent attorney, physician or qualified health care professional.  Although NVIC continually updates our website, state laws and rules change frequently and consumers are ultimately responsible for verifying their state's vaccination and exemption laws and requirements.

Back to Exemptions Main Page - All States   

 


Title 6. Education
Subtitle 2. Elementary and Secondary Education Generally
Chapter 18.  Students
Subchapter 7. Health

Arkansas Code Section 6-18-702. Immunization.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, no infant or child shall be admitted to a public or private school or child care facility of this state who has not been age-appropriately immunized from poliomyelitis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, red (rubeola) measles, rubella, and other diseases as designated by the State Board of Health, as evidenced by a certificate of a licensed physician or a public health department acknowledging the immunization.

(b)
(1) The responsibility for the enforcement of this section rests equally with each school district of this state and the parent or guardian of the child or pupil, and each of them shall be separately and individually liable for permitting any violation of this section.

(2)
(A) The Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education of the Department of Human Services shall be responsible for enforcing this section with respect to child care facilities.
(B) The division may promulgate appropriate rules and regulations, to be approved by the Arkansas Early Childhood Commission, for the enforcement of this section.
(C) The owners or managers of those facilities and any parent or guardian violating the regulations shall be subject to the penalties provided in the Child Care Facility Licensing Act, § 20-78-201 et seq.

(c)
(1)
(A)
(i) The division shall be responsible for enforcing this section with respect to child care facilities.
(ii) The division may promulgate appropriate rules and regulations for the enforcement of this section.

(B) The owners or managers of those facilities and any parent or guardian violating the regulations shall be subject to the penalties provided in the Child Care Facility Licensing Act, § 20-78-201 et seq.
(2)
(A) Regarding kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12), the State Board of Education, after having consulted with the State Board of Health, shall promulgate appropriate rules and regulations for the enforcement of this section by school boards of directors, superintendents, and principals.
(B) Any school official, parent, or guardian violating the regulations shall be subject to the penalties imposed in this section.

(d)
(1)
(A) The State Board of Health shall promulgate rules and regulations to ensure that all exemptions provided by this section shall have a minimal effect on the health and safety of all children attending day care or kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12).
(B) The rules shall provide for, but are not limited to, the tracking of those children with exemptions so that appropriate steps may be taken in the event of an outbreak or epidemic.

(2) The Department of Health, and no other department or entity, shall grant exemptions provided by this section.

(3) If in the discretion of the health authority having jurisdiction or of any physician licensed to practice by the Arkansas State Medical Board any person to whom this section applies shall be deemed to have a physical disability that may contraindicate vaccination, a certificate to that effect issued by the health officer may be accepted in lieu of a certificate of vaccination, provided that the exemption shall not apply when the disability shall have been removed.

(4)
(A) This section shall not apply if the parents or legal guardian of that child object thereto on the grounds that immunization conflicts with the religious or philosophical beliefs of the parent or guardian.

(B) The parents or legal guardian of the child shall complete an annual application process developed in the rules and regulations of the Department of Health for medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions.

(C) The rules and regulations developed by the Department of Health for medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions shall include, but not be limited to:

(i) A notarized statement requesting a religious, philosophical, or medical exemption from the Department of Health by the parents or legal guardian of the child regarding the objection;

(ii) Completion of an educational component developed by the Department of Health that includes information on the risks and benefits of vaccination;

(iii) An informed consent from the parents or guardian that shall include a signed statement of refusal to vaccinate based on the Department of Health's refusal-to-vaccinate form; and

(iv) A signed statement of understanding that:

(a) At the discretion of the Department of Health, the unimmunized child or individual may be removed from day care or school during an outbreak if the child or individual is not fully vaccinated; and

(b) The child or individual shall not return to school until the outbreak has been resolved and the Department of Health approves the return to school.

(D) No exemptions may be granted under this subdivision (d)(4) until the application process has been implemented by the Department of Health and completed by the applicant.

(5) Furthermore, the provisions of this section requiring pertussis vaccination shall not apply to any child with a sibling, either whole blood or half blood, who has had a serious adverse reaction to the pertussis antigen, which reaction resulted in a total permanent disability.

(e) Any person found guilty of violating this section or the regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education or the division for the enforcement of this section shall be guilty of a violation and upon conviction shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100) for each offense.  

Title 6. Education
Subtitle 5. Postsecondary and Higher Education Generally
Chapter 60. General Provisions
Subchapter 5. Immunization

(a) If, at the discretion of a medical doctor licensed to practice in Arkansas, an individual is deemed to have a physical disability which may contraindicate one (1) or more of the vaccinations required by this subchapter, a certificate approved by the Department of Health and signed by the medical doctor may be accepted in lieu of proof of vaccination.

(b)
(1) The provisions of this subchapter shall not apply if the individual furnishes to the college or university a letter of exemption from the department.
 
(2)
(A) The individual shall complete an annual application process developed in the rules and regulations of the department for medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions.

(B) The rules and regulations developed by the department for medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions shall include, but not be limited to:

(i) A notarized statement requesting a religious, philosophical, or medical exemption from the department by the individual regarding the objection;

(ii) Completion of an educational component developed by the department that includes information on the risks and benefits of vaccination;

(iii) An informed consent from the individual that shall include a signed statement of refusal to vaccinate based on the department's refusal-to-vaccinate form; and

(iv) A signed statement of understanding that:

(a) At the discretion of the department, the unimmunized child or individual may be removed from day care or school during an outbreak if the child or individual is not fully vaccinated; and

(b) The child or individual shall not return to school until the outbreak has been resolved and the department approves the return to school.

(3) No exemptions may be granted under this subsection until the application process has been implemented by the department and completed by the applicant.  

 

Title 20. Public Health and Welfare
Subtitle 5. Social Services
Chapter 78. Child Care
Subchapter 2. Licensing of Facilities


(a) 
(2) 
(A)
 
(i) However, no child care facility shall continue to admit a child who has not been age-appropriately immunized from poliomyelitis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, red (rubeola) measles, rubella, and any other diseases as designated by the State Board of Health within fifteen (15) program days after the child's original admission.
 
(ii) The immunization shall be evidenced by a certificate of a licensed physician or a public health department acknowledging the immunization. The division shall consult with the Commissioner of Education or his or her designated representative in regard to rules and regulations relating to education.
 
(B)
(i) The provisions of subdivision (a)(2)(A) of this section pertaining to immunizations shall not apply if the parents or legal guardian of that child object thereto on the grounds that immunization conflicts with the religious or philosophical beliefs of the parent or guardian.

(ii) The parents or legal guardian of the child shall complete an annual application process developed in the rules and regulations of the Department of Health for medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions.

(iii) The rules and regulations developed by the Department of Health for medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) A notarized statement requesting a religious, philosophical, or medical exemption from the Department of Health by the parents or legal guardian of the child regarding the objection;

(b) Completion of an educational component developed by the Department of Health that includes information on the risks and benefits of vaccination;

(c) An informed consent from the parents or guardian that shall include a signed statement of refusal to vaccinate based on the Department of Health's refusal-to-vaccinate form; and

(d) A signed statement of understanding that:

(1) At the discretion of the Department of Health, the unimmunized child or individual may be removed from day care or school during an outbreak if the child or individual is not fully vaccinated; and

(2) The child or individual shall not return to school until the outbreak has been resolved and the Department of Health approves the return to school.

(iv) No exemptions may be granted under this subdivision (a)(2)(B) until the application process has been implemented by the Department of Health and completed by the applicant.

(v) Furthermore, the provisions of subdivision (a)(2)(A) of this section requiring pertussis vaccination shall not apply to any child with a sibling, either whole blood or half blood, who has had a serious adverse reaction to the pertussis antigen, which reaction resulted in a total permanent disability.
 

Title 20. Public Health and Welfare
Subtitle 2. Health and Safety
Chapter 7. State Board of Health – Department of Health
Subchapter 3. State Health Data Clearinghouse Act

(c)
(1)

(A) With regard to §§ 6-18-702(d), 6-60-504(b), and 20-78-206(a)(2)(B), the department [of Health] shall report every six (6) months to the committees regarding:

(i) The geographic patterns of exemptions, vaccination rates, and exemptions in those areas as well as the rest of the state; and

(ii) Disease incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases collected by the division.

(B) The collection of exemption information shall begin January 4, 2004.

(C) Reports shall begin at the first interim meeting of the committees.

(2) [Repealed.]

(3) [Repealed.]

 

 




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