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Personal and philosophical options to exempt children from the MMR (measles) no longer accepted

In 2019, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill that removes the personal and philosophical option to exempt children from the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine required for school and child care entry. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on May 10, 2019 and takes effect July 28th 2019. 

Law Change Quick Facts

The new law will take effect July 28, 2019 and applies to public and private schools and licensed child cares.
This law does not change religious and medical exemption laws. Children who have one of these types of exemptions on file are not affected by the new law.
This law will not affect most students. More than 9 out of 10 kindergartners in Washington are complete with both doses of MMR vaccine, and 96 percent of 6th graders have both doses. These students, along with those who have medical or religious exemptions, will notice no change from the new exemption law.
Frequesntly Asked Questions:

1) My child currently has a philosophical exemption for MMR. Can my child come to school September 4th 2019?

Answer: According to RCW 28A.210.080  A student claiming a philosophical exemption will not be able to attend school. Documentation is due on or before the first day of attendance. The exception to this applies to students who are considered homeless according to the McKinney-Vento Act.   The new law does not include a grandfathering or exclusion clause for students who currently have personal exemptions for MMR vaccine. Based on that, as of July 28 the student no longer will have an acceptable exemption.

2) My child has an exemption for Hepititas B. Does this new law effect all vaccines?

Answer: No, An exemption for a condition like Hepititas B is a medical issue. This law only effects students with a philosophical exemption for MMR. 

If you have any questions about the new law, contact the Kittitas County Health Department at 509-962-7515 or Annemarie Hill, school nurse, at or 509-649-4948.

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