Posted Date: January 22, 2016
Quick Facts and Resources for Illinois Residents
Quick Fact: Parents or legal guardians who object, for religious reasons, to their child being immunized for school entrance must submit a Certificate of Religious Exemption, which now must be signed by a health care provider. Signed into law on August 3, 2015, this new legislation requires a health care provider to sign the certificate confirming they have provided education to the parents or legal guardians about the benefits of immunizations and the health risks of not vaccinating students. The new certificate should be available soon. 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
Other State Resources
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
CHAPTER 20. EXECUTIVE BRANCH
CIVIL ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF ILLINOIS (PART 1)
ARTICLE 5. DEPARTMENTS OF STATE GOVERNMENT
20 ILCS 5/5-565. In the Department of Public Health
(a) The General Assembly declares it to be the public policy of this State that all citizens of Illinois are entitled to lead healthy lives. Governmental public health has a specific responsibility to ensure that a public health system is in place to allow the public health mission to be achieved. The public health system is the collection of public, private, and voluntary entities as well as individuals and informal associations that contribute to the public's health within the State. To develop a public health system requires certain core functions to be performed by government. The State Board of Health is to assume the leadership role in advising the Director in meeting the following functions:
(1) Needs assessment.
(2) Statewide health objectives.
(3) Policy development.
(4) Assurance of access to necessary services.
There shall be a State Board of Health composed of 20 persons, all of whom shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate for those appointed by the Governor on and after June 30, 1998, and one of whom shall be a senior citizen age 60 or over. Five members shall be physicians licensed to practice medicine in all its branches, one representing a medical school faculty, one who is board certified in preventive medicine, and one who is engaged in private practice. One member shall be a chiropractic physician. One member shall be a dentist; one an environmental health practitioner; one a local public health administrator; one a local board of health member; one a registered nurse; one a physical therapist; one an optometrist; one a veterinarian; one a public health academician; one a health care industry representative; one a representative of the business community; one a representative of the non-profit public interest community; and 2 shall be citizens at large.
The terms of Board of Health members shall be 3 years, except that members shall continue to serve on the Board of Health until a replacement is appointed. Upon the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 93rd General Assembly, in the appointment of the Board of Health members appointed to vacancies or positions with terms expiring on or before December 31, 2004, the Governor shall appoint up to 6 members to serve for terms of 3 years; up to 6 members to serve for terms of 2 years; and up to 5 members to serve for a term of one year, so that the term of no more than 6 members expire in the same year. All members shall be legal residents of the State of Illinois. The duties of the Board shall include, but not be limited to, the following. . .
(9) To review the final draft of all proposed administrative rules, other than emergency or preemptory rules and those rules that another advisory body must approve or review within a statutorily defined time period, of the Department after September 19, 1991 (the effective date of Public Act 87-633). The Board shall review the proposed rules within 90 days of submission by the Department. The Department shall take into consideration any comments and recommendations of the Board regarding the proposed rules prior to submission to the Secretary of State for initial publication. If the Department disagrees with the recommendations of the Board, it shall submit a written response outlining the reasons for not accepting the recommendations.
In the case of proposed administrative rules or amendments to administrative rules regarding immunization of children against preventable communicable diseases designated by the Director under the Communicable Disease Prevention Act [410 ILCS 315/0.01 et seq.], after the Immunization Advisory Committee has made its recommendations, the Board shall conduct 3 public hearings, geographically distributed throughout the State. At the conclusion of the hearings, the State Board of Health shall issue a report, including its recommendations, to the Director. The Director shall take into consideration any comments or recommendations made by the Board based on these hearings.
Sec. 8.4. Immunization Advisory Committee. The Director of Public Health shall appoint an Immunization Advisory Committee to advise the Director on immunization issues. The Director shall take into consideration any comments or recommendations made by the Advisory Committee. The Immunization Advisory Committee shall be composed of the following members with knowledge of immunization issues: a pediatrician, a physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches, a family physician, an infectious disease specialist from a university based center, 2 representatives of a local health department, a registered nurse, a school nurse, a public health provider, a public health officer or administrator, a representative of a children's hospital, 2 representatives of immunization advocacy organizations, a representative from the State Board of Education, a person with expertise in bioterrorism issues, and any other individuals or organization representatives designated by the Director. The Director shall designate one of the Advisory Committee members to serve as the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee.
CHAPTER 105. SCHOOLS
ARTICLE 27. COURSES OF STUDY-SPECIAL INSTRUCTION
105 ILCS 5/27-8.1 Health examinations and immunizations.
(1) In compliance with rules and regulations which the Department of Public Health shall promulgate, and except as hereinafter provided, all children in Illinois shall have a health examination as follows: within one year prior to entering kindergarten or the first grade of any public, private, or parochial elementary school; upon entering the sixth and ninth grades of any public, private, or parochial school; prior to entrance into any public, private, or parochial nursery school; and, irrespective of grade, immediately prior to or upon entrance into any public, private, or parochial school or nursery school, each child shall present proof of having been examined in accordance with this Section and the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder. Any child who received a health examination within one year prior to entering the fifth grade for the 2007-2008 school year is not required to receive an additional health examination in order to comply with the provisions of Public Act 95-422 when he or she attends school for the 2008-2009 school year, unless the child is attending school for the first time as provided in this paragraph.
A tuberculosis skin test screening shall be included as a required part of each health examination included under this Section if the child resides in an area designated by the Department of Public Health as having a high incidence of tuberculosis. Additional health examinations of pupils, including eye examinations, may be required when deemed necessary by school authorities. Parents are encouraged to have their children undergo eye examinations at the same points in time required for health examinations.
(1.5) In compliance with rules adopted by the Department of Public Health and except as otherwise provided in this Section, all children in kindergarten and the second and sixth grades of any public, private, or parochial school shall have a dental examination. Each of these children shall present proof of having been examined by a dentist in accordance with this Section and rules adopted under this Section before May 15th of the school year. If a child in the second or sixth grade fails to present proof by May 15th, the school may hold the child's report card until one of the following occurs: (i) the child presents proof of a completed dental examination or (ii) the child presents proof that a dental examination will take place within 60 days after May 15th. The Department of Public Health shall establish, by rule, a waiver for children who show an undue burden or a lack of access to a dentist. Each public, private, and parochial school must give notice of this dental examination requirement to the parents and guardians of students at least 60 days before May 15th of each school year.
(1.10) Except as otherwise provided in this Section, all children enrolling in kindergarten in a public, private, or parochial school on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 95th General Assembly and any student enrolling for the first time in a public, private, or parochial school on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 95th General Assembly shall have an eye examination. Each of these children shall present proof of having been examined by a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches or a licensed optometrist within the previous year, in accordance with this Section and rules adopted under this Section, before October 15th of the school year. If the child fails to present proof by October 15th, the school may hold the child's report card until one of the following occurs: (i) the child presents proof of a completed eye examination or (ii) the child presents proof that an eye examination will take place within 60 days after October 15th. The Department of Public Health shall establish, by rule, a waiver for children who show an undue burden or a lack of access to a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches who provides eye examinations or to a licensed optometrist. Each public, private, and parochial school must give notice of this eye examination requirement to the parents and guardians of students in compliance with rules of the Department of Public Health. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to allow a school to exclude a child from attending because of a parent's or guardian's failure to obtain an eye examination for the child.
(2) The Department of Public Health shall promulgate rules and regulations specifying the examinations and procedures that constitute a health examination, which shall include the collection of data relating to obesity (including at a minimum, date of birth, gender, height, weight, blood pressure, and date of exam), and a dental examination and may recommend by rule that certain additional examinations be performed. The rules and regulations of the Department of Public Health shall specify that a tuberculosis skin test screening shall be included as a required part of each health examination included under this Section if the child resides in an area designated by the Department of Public Health as having a high incidence of tuberculosis. The Department of Public Health shall specify that a diabetes screening as defined by rule shall be included as a required part of each health examination. Diabetes testing is not required.
Physicians licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches, advanced practice nurses who have a written collaborative agreement with a collaborating physician which authorizes them to perform health examinations, or physician assistants who have been delegated the performance of health examinations by their supervising physician shall be responsible for the performance of the health examinations, other than dental examinations, eye examinations, and vision and hearing screening, and shall sign all report forms required by subsection (4) of this Section that pertain to those portions of the health examination for which the physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant is responsible. If a registered nurse performs any part of a health examination, then a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches must review and sign all required report forms. Licensed dentists shall perform all dental examinations and shall sign all report forms required by subsection (4) of this Section that pertain to the dental examinations. Physicians licensed to practice medicine in all its branches or licensed optometrists shall perform all eye examinations required by this Section and shall sign all report forms required by subsection (4) of this Section that pertain to the eye examination. For purposes of this Section, an eye examination shall at a minimum include history, visual acuity, subjective refraction to best visual acuity near and far, internal and external examination, and a glaucoma evaluation, as well as any other tests or observations that in the professional judgment of the doctor are necessary. Vision and hearing screening tests, which shall not be considered examinations as that term is used in this Section, shall be conducted in accordance with rules and regulations of the Department of Public Health, and by individuals whom the Department of Public Health has certified. In these rules and regulations, the Department of Public Health shall require that individuals conducting vision screening tests give a child's parent or guardian written notification, before the vision screening is conducted, that states, "Vision screening is not a substitute for a complete eye and vision evaluation by an eye doctor. Your child is not required to undergo this vision screening if an optometrist or ophthalmologist has completed and signed a report form indicating that an examination has been administered within the previous 12 months."
(3) Every child shall, at or about the same time as he or she receives a health examination required by subsection (1) of this Section, present to the local school proof of having received such immunizations against preventable communicable diseases as the Department of Public Health shall require by rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this Section and the Communicable Disease Prevention Act.
(4) The individuals conducting the health examination, dental examination, or eye examination shall record the fact of having conducted the examination, and such additional information as required, including for a health examination data relating to obesity (including at a minimum, date of birth, gender, height, weight, blood pressure, and date of exam), on uniform forms which the Department of Public Health and the State Board of Education shall prescribe for statewide use. The examiner shall summarize on the report form any condition that he or she suspects indicates a need for special services, including for a health examination factors relating to obesity. The individuals confirming the administration of required immunizations shall record as indicated on the form that the immunizations were administered.
(5) If a child does not submit proof of having had either the health examination or the immunization as required, then the child shall be examined or receive the immunization, as the case may be, and present proof by October 15 of the current school year, or by an earlier date of the current school year established by a school district. To establish a date before October 15 of the current school year for the health examination or immunization as required, a school district must give notice of the requirements of this Section 60 days prior to the earlier established date. If for medical reasons one or more of the required immunizations must be given after October 15 of the current school year, or after an earlier established date of the current school year, then the child shall present, by October 15, or by the earlier established date, a schedule for the administration of the immunizations and a statement of the medical reasons causing the delay, both the schedule and the statement being issued by the physician, advanced practice nurse, physician assistant, registered nurse, or local health department that will be responsible for administration of the remaining required immunizations. If a child does not comply by October 15, or by the earlier established date of the current school year, with the requirements of this subsection, then the local school authority shall exclude that child from school until such time as the child presents proof of having had the health examination as required and presents proof of having received those required immunizations which are medically possible to receive immediately. During a child's exclusion from school for noncompliance with this subsection, the child's parents or legal guardian shall be considered in violation of Section 26-1 and subject to any penalty imposed by Section 26-10. This subsection (5) does not apply to dental examinations and eye examinations. Until June 30, 2015, if the student is an out-of-state transfer student and does not have the proof required under this subsection (5) before October 15 of the current year or whatever date is set by the school district, then he or she may only attend classes (i) if he or she has proof that an appointment for the required vaccinations has been scheduled with a party authorized to submit proof of the required vaccinations. If the proof of vaccination required under this subsection (5) is not submitted within 30 days after the student is permitted to attend classes, then the student is not to be permitted to attend classes until proof of the vaccinations has been properly submitted. No school district or employee of a school district shall be held liable for any injury or illness to another person that results from admitting an out-of-state transfer student to class that has an appointment scheduled pursuant to this subsection (5).
(6) Every school shall report to the State Board of Education by November 15, in the manner which that agency shall require, the number of children who have received the necessary immunizations and the health examination (other than a dental examination or eye examination) as required, indicating, of those who have not received the immunizations and examination as required, the number of children who are exempt from health examination and immunization requirements on religious or medical grounds as provided in subsection (8). Every school shall report to the State Board of Education by June 30, in the manner that the State Board requires, the number of children who have received the required dental examination, indicating, of those who have not received the required dental examination, the number of children who are exempt from the dental examination on religious grounds as provided in subsection (8) of this Section and the number of children who have received a waiver under subsection (1.5) of this Section. Every school shall report to the State Board of Education by June 30, in the manner that the State Board requires, the number of children who have received the required eye examination, indicating, of those who have not received the required eye examination, the number of children who are exempt from the eye examination as provided in subsection (8) of this Section, the number of children who have received a waiver under subsection (1.10) of this Section, and the total number of children in noncompliance with the eye examination requirement. This reported information shall be provided to the Department of Public Health by the State Board of Education.
(7) Upon determining that the number of pupils who are required to be in compliance with subsection (5) of this Section is below 90% of the number of pupils enrolled in the school district, 10% of each State aid payment made pursuant to Section 18-8.05 to the school district for such year may be withheld by the State Board of Education until the number of students in compliance with subsection (5) is the applicable specified percentage or higher.
(8) Children of parents or legal guardians who object to health, dental, or eye examinations or any part thereof, to immunizations, or to vision and hearing screening tests on religious grounds shall not be required to undergo the examinations, tests, or immunizations to which they so object if such parents or legal guardians present to the appropriate local school authority a signed Certificate of Religious Exemption detailing the grounds for objection and the specific immunizations, tests, or examinations to which they object. The grounds for objection must set forth the specific religious belief that conflicts with the examination, test, immunization, or other medical intervention. The signed certificate shall also reflect the parent's or legal guardian's understanding of the school's exclusion policies in the case of a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak or exposure. The certificate must also be signed by the authorized examining health care provider responsible for the performance of the
child's health examination confirming that the provider provided education to the parent or legal guardian on the benefits of immunization and the health risks to the student and to the community of the communicable diseases for which immunization is required in this State. However, the health care provider's signature on the certificate reflects only that education was provided and does not allow a health care provider grounds to determine a religious exemption. Those receiving immunizations required under this Code shall be provided with the relevant vaccine information statements that are required to be disseminated by the federal National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which may contain information on circumstances when a vaccine should not be administered, prior to administering a vaccine. A healthcare provider may consider including without limitation the
nationally accepted recommendations from federal agencies such as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the
information outlined in the relevant vaccine information statement, and vaccine package inserts, along with the healthcare provider's clinical judgment, to determine whether any child may be more susceptible to experiencing an adverse vaccine reaction than the general population, and if so, the healthcare provider may exempt the child from an immunization or adopt an individualized immunization schedule. The Certificate of Religious Exemption shall be created by the Department of Public Health and shall be made available and used by parents and legal guardians by the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year. Parents or legal guardians must submit the Certificate of Religious Exemption to their local school authority prior to entering kindergarten, sixth grade, and ninth grade for each child for which they are requesting an exemption. The religious objection stated need not be directed by the tenets of an established religious organization. However, general philosophical or moral reluctance to allow physical examinations, eye examinations, immunizations, vision and hearing screenings, or dental examinations does not provide a sufficient basis for an exception to statutory requirements. The local school authority is responsible for determining if the content of the Certificate of Religious Exemption constitutes a valid religious objection. The local school authority shall inform the parent or legal guardian of exclusion procedures, in accordance with the Department's
rules under Part 690 of Title 77 of the Illinois Administrative Code, at the time the objection is presented.If the physical condition of the child is such that any one or more of the immunizing agents should not be administered, the examining physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant responsible for the performance of the health examination shall endorse that fact upon the health examination form. Exempting a child from the health, dental, or eye examination does not exempt the child from participation in the program of physical education training provided in Sections 27-5 through 27-7 of this Code.
(9) For the purposes of this Section, "nursery schools" means those nursery schools operated by elementary school systems or secondary level school units or institutions of higher learning.
CHAPTER 410. PUBLIC HEALTH
HEALTH PREVENTION AND PROTECTION
COMMUNICABLE DISEASES PREVENTION ACT
410 ILCS 315/1.10 . [Regulations; public hearings; exemptions]
Sec. 1.10. Meningococcal conjugate vaccine. The Department of Public Health shall adopt a rule requiring students, upon entering the 6th and 12th grade of any public, private, or parochial school, to receive an immunization containing meningococcal conjugate vaccine that meets the standards approved by the U.S. Public Health Service for such biological products and is in accordance with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The immunization shall consist of one dose of the MCV4 vaccine for 6th grade entrance and 2 doses for 12th grade entrance, unless the first dose was administered to a child who was 16 years of age or older, in which case only one dose is required at 12th grade entrance. However, if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' recommendations for adolescents are updated, then the requirement under this Section should reflect those changes to be current. The immunization requirement shall not apply before 6 months after final rules are approved. Existing Illinois standards for parental or legal guardian objections or medical objections shall be applicable. (Source: P.A. 98-480, eff. 1-1-14.)
410 ILCS 315/2 . [Regulations; public hearings; exemptions]
Sec. 2. The Department of Public Health shall promulgate rules and regulations requiring immunization of children against preventable communicable diseases designated by the Director. Before any regulation or amendment thereto is prescribed, the Department shall conduct a public hearing regarding such regulation. In addition, before any regulation or any amendment to a regulation is adopted, and after the Immunization Advisory Committee has made its recommendations, the State Board of Health shall conduct 3 public hearings, geographically distributed throughout the State, regarding the regulation or amendment to the regulation. At the conclusion of the hearings, the State Board of Health shall issue a report, including its recommendations, to the Director. The Director shall take into consideration any comments or recommendations made by the Board based on these hearings. The Department may prescribe additional rules and regulations for immunization of other diseases as vaccines are developed.
The provisions of this Act shall not apply if:
1. The parent or guardian of the child objects thereto on the grounds that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with his religious tenets or practices or,
2. A physician employed by the parent or guardian to provide care and treatment to the child states that the physical condition of the child is such that the administration of one or more of the required immunizing agents would be detrimental to the health of the child.
CHAPTER 225. PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
225 ILCS 10/: CHILD CARE ACT OF 1969
225 ILCS 10/7
(h) Any standards involving physical examinations, immunization, or medical treatment shall include appropriate exemptions for children whose parents object thereto on the grounds that they conflict with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious organization, of which the parent is an adherent or member, and for children who should not be subjected to immunization for clinical reasons.
225 ILCS 10/4.6
The Child Care Act of 1969 is amended by adding Section 4.6 as follows. Sec. 4.6. Vaccination requirements for employees. No person may be employed by a child care facility that cares for children ages 6 and under unless that person shows proof of having received: (i) one dose of the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria,and pertussis) vaccine; and (ii) 2 doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine or shows proof of immunity to MMR. Effective Date: 1/1/2016
CHAPTER 110. HIGHER EDUCATION
110 ILCS/20: COLLEGE STUDENT IMMUNIZATION ACT
110 ILCS 20
110 ILCS 20/0.01 (from Ch. 144, par. 2600)
Sec. 0.01. Short title. This Act may be cited as the College Student Immunization Act. (Source: P.A. 86-1324.)
110 ILCS 20/1 (from Ch. 144, par. 2601)
Sec. 1. Definitions. For the purposes of this Act:
(a) "Department" means the Illinois Department of Public Health.
(b) "Post-secondary educational institution" means a public or private college or university offering degrees and instruction above the high school level, and shall include, but not be limited to, any and all private colleges and universities, the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University, Illinois State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, and any other public university now or hereafter established or authorized by the General Assembly; except that a post-secondary educational institution does not mean or include any public or private college or university that does not provide on-campus housing for its students in dormitories or equivalent facilities that are owned, operated, and maintained by the public or private college or university.
The term shall not include any public or private junior or community college, or any institution offering degrees and instruction which utilizes correspondence as its primary mode of student instruction. (Source: P.A. 94-195, eff. 7-12-05.)
110 ILCS 20/2 (from Ch. 144, par. 2602)
Sec. 2. Proof of immunization. No person shall attend a post-secondary
educational institution without presenting proof that he or she has received such immunizations against preventable communicable diseases as the Department shall require by rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this Act and "An Act in relation to the prevention of certain communicable diseases", approved July 5, 1967, as now or hereafter amended, except as provided in Section 3 of this Act. The proof of immunization required by this Section shall be presented to the post-secondary educational institution. (Source: P.A. 85-1315.)
110 ILCS 20/3 (from Ch. 144, par. 2603)
Sec. 3. Exceptions.
(a) The provisions of this Act shall not apply to: (1) persons enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution on or before the effective date of this Act; (2) persons enrolled less than half-time during a term or semester; or (3) persons whose instruction solely involves research, field work or study outside of a classroom environment.
(b) No proof of immunization shall be required if a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches certifies that any immunization required by the Department is medically contraindicated.
(c) No proof of immunization shall be required if the person or his or her parent or guardian presents a signed statement that he or she objects to immunizations on religious grounds.
(d) The certificate of medical exemption or statement of religious objection required by this Section shall be presented to the post-secondary educational institution. (Source: P.A. 85-1315; 86-1406.)
110 ILCS 20/4 (from Ch. 144, par. 2604)
Sec. 4. Preclusion from registration. If no proof of immunization, certification of medical exemption or statement of religious objection from an enrolled student is in the possession of the post-secondary educational institution, the person shall be precluded from registering in a subsequent term or semester until such time as the appropriate documentation is presented to the institution. The institution shall not be liable for any monetary loss on the part of a student precluded from registering for failure to comply with the provisions of this Act. (Source: P.A. 85-1315.)
110 ILCS 20/5 (from Ch. 144, par. 2605)
Sec. 5. Records; inspection. The post-secondary educational institution shall maintain on file the proof of immunization, certification of medical exemption or statement of religious objection for all persons attending the institution. This information shall be available for inspection by the Department during normal business hours. (Source: P.A. 85-1315.)
110 ILCS 20/6 (from Ch. 144, par. 2606)
Sec. 6. Report. Within 8 weeks after the commencement of classroom instruction, the post-secondary educational institution shall file a report with the Department stating the number of persons attending the institution who had presented: proof of immunization; certification of medical exemption; statement of religious objection; and no proof of immunization. The report shall be on forms prepared by the Department. (Source: P.A. 85-1315.)