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Vaccine Exemption letters...

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k1p1ssk has 9 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in pediatrics.

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Any tips on wording when looking for vaccine exemption letters? I'm in Massachusetts and we still allow religious exemptions, but families need to provide an exemption letter each school year. I need to get a couple from one family ASAP but I'm hesitant to just give these families the easy out. I feel like if they want to claim religious exemption they should do the research on the requirements and I foresee this particular Mom being difficult about it. What do you say when you ask a parent about this?

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lifelearningrn has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

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You answered your own question. They need to obtain the legal exemption on their own without any help from you, or they are excluded per state law. I'd give them the list of outstanding vaccinations and resources to obtain said vaccines, with a "by this date". 

I'd say to the parent, "as a nurse, I can give you information on vaccines, mandated schedules and resources to obtain the needed vaccines for school. If your religion forbids vaccines, your minister or church officials should be able to walk you through the process."

If this is truly a religious thing, she should know the drill.

 

Edited by lifelearningrn

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BiscuitRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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33 minutes ago, lifelearningrn said:

You answered your own question. They need to obtain the legal exemption on their own without any help from you, or they are excluded per state law. I'd give them the list of outstanding vaccinations and resources to obtain said vaccines, with a "by this date". 

I'd say to the parent, "as a nurse, I can give you information on vaccines, mandated schedules and resources to obtain the needed vaccines for school. If your religion forbids vaccines, your minister or church officials should be able to walk you through the process."

If this is truly a religious thing, she should know the drill.

 

Agreed.  Illinois has a religious exemption form.  I will email that to parents if they ask for it.

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lifelearningrn has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

2,293 Posts; 24,847 Profile Views

17 hours ago, BiscuitRN said:

Agreed.  Illinois has a religious exemption form.  I will email that to parents if they ask for it.

I don't even do that. If they have a strong religious belief, they should be able to find the form themselves. In Texas, we have both religious exemptions and 'reason of conscience'..   I don't assist in these. I have all kinds of resources for free vaccines though. 😉

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k1p1ssk has 9 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in pediatrics.

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I got a little lucky and mom's number was out of service, so I emailed and just said I need the declaration of religious exemption and reminded her that I need it every year... no other information provided. I just hope that I get it by the end of the week!

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MHDNURSE has 21 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN, NP and specializes in Pediatrics, Community, and School Health.

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I'm in MA as well and we have parents type up a signed letter that states it is against their religion to vaccinate and they submit it.  I really wish we would do away with religious exemption b/c I know none of the families who claim that are actually telling the truth.  I feel like it gives them an easy out.

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BiscuitRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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44 minutes ago, MHDNURSE said:

I'm in MA as well and we have parents type up a signed letter that states it is against their religion to vaccinate and they submit it.  I really wish we would do away with religious exemption b/c I know none of the families who claim that are actually telling the truth.  I feel like it gives them an easy out.

I have yet to see anything that looks like a legitimate religious excuse. The religions that used to prohibit vaccination have made pro-vaccination statements.

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54 Posts; 617 Profile Views

I can't find any religion that is against vaccines, and I have spent more time than I am willing to admit on google. Some Orthodox Jewish groups, but not on a whole. It is all ridiculous in my humble opinion

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JustJai is a ADN, LPN, RN, EMT-I and specializes in Oncology, Med/Surg, Correctional, and School nursi.

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For me all of the forms used by school nurses were created at the superintendents  level.  We don't  have to come up with wording for immunization notifications, exemptions, or dis-enrollments letters, it is already done.  We have a Request Immunization Exemptions form that is provided to parents as requested.  The form has to be completed yearly for non-medical exemptions.  The statement the parent signs begins with "I have received information on the risks associated with the diseases for which immunizations are required for school admittance/attendance...."  Our nurses are responsible for providing the parent information/education.  I print out the CDC VIS and attach it to the waiver request.  I write "VIS for _____________ (usually the seasonal flu) was provided to parent" on the bottom of the waiver request. 

I am amazed when I read all of these battles other SN's are fighting to get back either immunization documentation or the immunization waiver request.  Parents are given ten days from enrollment, or date the immunization comes due such as the 11th birthday, to turn in the immunization record.  On the eleventh day, when no paperwork is received, or an email/phone call explaining extenuating circumstances, a letter is sent from the principal with an additional ten days and a dis-enrollment date.  It gets the job done every time.  Too many other SN related responsibilities, such as caring for the little ones standing before me, to spend loads of time on chasing paperwork.  

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aprilmoss has 20 years experience and specializes in School Nurse.

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The usual argument is vaccines that use the WI-38 or  MRC-5 cell lines which came from aborted fetal tissue.     The Catholic church has official guidance on the six vaccines that were prepared using this line and indicates adherents have a duty to use vaccines from other sources.   In the case that an alternate vaccine is not available, the church recommends fighting for the development of an alternative but draws the line short of demanding not getting vaccinated, suggesting that given two evils, the affected vaccine is the lesser.

The problematic vaccines are specifically the varicella (chicken pox) and rubella, for which there are no alternatives currently available.    You have to work harder on the others because the affected rubella (and even varicella) components appear in many of the popular combination shots.

Still, certainly far from an outright prohibition.

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1,160 Posts; 9,528 Profile Views

While I am all for immunizations and in my perfect world everyone would be immunized, but I am not going to get into it nor chase down parents about their reasoning for Affidavits.  Just get me the proper paperwork, on time without any hassle.  

Some of these parents must thrive on conflict  - You would think that if you are a parent that is choosing not to immunize that you would do your research and know the policy, rules, law etc and provide the schools with what we need without us chasing you down.  I know on my end I could care less about a reason for not immunizing - just give me the darn paperwork.  

I am in Texas so we have an Affidavit for Reasons of Consciousness that is good for 2 years.  I will give them the link and just flat out tell them to get it ordered NOW because it can take 2+ weeks to get.  Sometimes I don't understand why it takes parents so long to get the Affidavit ordered and returned to me in a timely manner.  

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