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Now What? Trouble with Your Ohio Vaccine Exemption Statement

September 27, 2019 2:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Know your rights! The state of Ohio has three exemptions to vaccine requirements; medical and reasons of conscience, including religious convictions.

ORC 3313.671 Proof of required immunizations – exceptions

Medical exemptions require a signature from a licensed physician in the state of Ohio. 

Exemptions for reasons of conscience, including religious conviction, require a signed written statement from the parent or guardian submitted to the school upon enrollment or request.

For a current list of vaccine doses that would require an exemption for entry into public schools in Ohio, please check the Ohio Department of Health website here.

What if you've turned in a vaccine exemption statement for your K-12 child yet the school is giving you a hard time?  They are requesting that you sign a specific form, or stating they never received your exemption statement.

What can you do now?

If the school is giving you a hard time or requesting that you sign a specific form, consider the following:

  1. Read the Ohio Legislative Service Commission (LSC) Review of 3313.671. A written and signed statement by a parent is all that is required. You are not required to fill out or complete a specific form. A member of the clergy is not required to sign or support the parent's written statement. Provide a copy of the Ohio LSC Review to the school by downloading and printing here: LSC Review 3313.671.pdf
  2. Call the school nurse or other staff who is trying to deny your written statement. Politely let them know that you are informed of your rights under Ohio Revised Code 3313.671, and ask them to provide a reference showing where it says you are required to fill out the school form.
  3. Consider sending an email with all the forms and communications from the school to your State Representative, State Senator, District Superintendent, and Ohio Board of Education Member, being sure to copy the school principal and nurse on the emails. Explain that you are complying with the law, but the school isn’t allowing it and is threatening to add your child to the exclusion list. Link to find your Ohio Board of Education Member. Link to find your Ohio State Legislator.   

If the school is stating they never received your exemption statement, consider the following:

  1. If you decide to take your exemption statement in personally, ask for a signed and dated receipt of your statement before leaving the office. You can have the office worker sign this statement of receipt: Exemption from Immunization Statemement of Rec.pdf
  2. If they refuse to sign and date your receipt, or in any way deny you physical proof that your statement has been received, do not leave it with them. Take it to the post office and send your statement certified; pay the additional fee to attach the physical return signature receipt card to the envelope.

All of this can be done in a very formal, friendly way. If you have any questions, need clarification or assistance, please email us at info@healthfreedomohio.org.

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