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Health Advisory: MMR Vaccine Exemption Law Change

July 23, 2019

New law removes personal/philosophical exemption for MMR vaccine.

On July 28, 2019, a new law goes into effect in Washington. It removes the personal/philosophical exemption for measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. The law applies to public schools, private schools and licensed childcare centers.

About the new law

  • Protects Washington residents from 3 serious diseases.
  • Applies to:
    • All (new and returning) students in public school, private school and childcare.
    • Childcare employees and volunteers.
  • Medical and religious exemptions remain. The law does not affect students with these exemptions on file.
  • Does not affect personal/philosophical exemptions for vaccines other than MMR.
  • Check to see if your family meets MMR vaccine requirements at www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/ Immunization/ChildProfileHealthPromotion/ForParents/AccessYourFamilysImmunizationInformation.
  • The law won’t affect most students. More than 90% of kindergartners—and 96% of 6th graders—are up to date with MMR vaccine.

Requested actions

  • Medical providers—Make sure students, employees and volunteers are ready for school and childcare with up-to-date vaccinations. Remember you are patients’ most trusted source of information about vaccines.
  • School staff—Follow up with the parent or guardian of every child who has a personal/philosophical exemption for MMR vaccine to ensure they are vaccinated before school starts. Refer to a healthcare provider or free vaccine clinic.
  • Childcare centers—Make sure employees and volunteers are up to date with MMR vaccine. Follow up with the parent or guardian of every child who has a personal/philosophical exemption for MMR vaccine to ensure they are vaccinated before coming to childcare. Refer to a healthcare provider or free vaccine clinic.

More information

Find frequently asked questions, sample letters for schools and childcares and more information at www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Schools/Immunization/ExemptionLawChange.

Come to our Annual Vaccine Update.

Learn about changes in vaccine recommendations—and enjoy free coffee and snacks. RSVP to ccook@tpchd.org.

Aug. 15, 2019
7–8 a.m.

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
3629 S. D St., Tacoma, 98418

 

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