Immunizations - Exemptions

RULES AND REGULATIONS
PERTAINING TO EXEMPTIONS
OF GRADES K - 12 IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS

IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS:

A.   General Requirements.

Except as otherwise provided in these regulations, no child shall be admitted to a public or private school or childcare facility of this State, irrespective of grade or transfer, who has not been age-appropriately immunized against Poliomyelitis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Red (Rubeola) Measles, Rubella (German Measles), and Mumps, Hepatitis B, and Varicella (Chicken Pox) as evidenced by a certificate of a licensed physician or a public health department acknowledging the immunization.

1.  With the exception of medical exemptions for college and university students, exemptions shall be granted only by the Arkansas Department of Health.

2.  Individuals shall complete an annual application for medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions with the Arkansas Department of Health.

3.  A notarized statement by the individual requesting the exemption must accompany the application.

4.  All individuals requesting an exemption must complete an educational component developed by the Department of Health that includes information on the risks and benefits of vaccinations.

5.  All individuals must sign an "informed consent" form provided by the Department of Health that includes:

a)  A statement of refusal to vaccinate;

b)  A statement of understanding that at the discretion of the Department of Health the non-immunized child or individual may be removed from the applicable facility during an outbreak if the child or individual is not fully vaccinated; and

c)  A statement of understanding that the child or individual shall not return to the applicable facility until the outbreak has been resolved and the Department of Health approves the return.

Exemptions to the Requirements

A.  Medical Exemptions.

1.  Only a letter issued by the MEDICAL DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASE/IMMUNIZATION, stating the vaccine or vaccines for which a child is exempt is to be accepted as a valid medical exemption by the school or childcare facility.  Statements from private physicians are not to be accepted by the school or childcare facility without this letter.

2.  Any individual who has had a vaccine-preventable disease, as documented by an appropriate diagnostic or blood serology test, should not be required to have the vaccine for that disease.  An individual who is uncertain of their disease history, has lost his/her immunization records or whose serology test results are unavailable should be properly immunized for those diseases.

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

Parents are to request their child's medical doctor to send a letter to:

     Dr. Sandra Snow
     4815 W. Markham Street
     Little Rock, AR  72205-3867

B.  Religious Exemptions.

1.  In addition to the general requirements, the Arkansas Department of Healths standard form for religious exemptions must be submitted to the Division of CD/Immunization.  This form is available from the Arkansas Department of Health upon request, call 661-2438.  A notarized statement is required from the parents or legal guardians that immunization conflicts with their religious beliefs.

C.  Philosophical Exemptions.

1.  In addition to the general requirements, the Arkansas Department of Healths standard form for philosophical exemptions must be submitted to the Division of CD/Immunization.  Thi