How to Get a School Vaccine Exemption in Maine

No your child DOES NOT have to recieve a vaccine, any vaccine, to attend a public or private school in Maine.

Unfortunately, your school may not notify you of this.  Often parents are sent letters that say, “Starting this fall, the State of Maine has issued a new vaccine requirement that your child must have to attend school…” yet fails to mention that vaccine exemptions are available.

The state of Maine has three vaccine exemptions, medical, religious and philosophical.  If the family of a student wants to opt out of one or more vaccines, they simply need to write a short letter to the school notifiying them that they are either religiously, or philosophically opposed to the vaccine or vaccines in question.  For example:

Attention: School
Re: Vaccination

Dear Sirs,

I am philosophically opposed to my child recieving the vaccines recommended for school attendance.

Sincerely,
Your Name

There is no review process for vaccine exemptions, and your exemption letter cannot be rejected.

The law states that if there is an outbreak at a school, the school can require that an unvaccinated child be excluded from school for a certain time period.  However, if that child has an IEP, the school must continue to accommodate the child’s education in another setting.

Some schools may ask that you file a specific form to register an exemption, but the law does not require you to file or sign any form.  Some physicians ask that you sign a specific form when refusing vaccinations, but again, there is no legal or medical requirement for either you or them to have such a form on file.  The Maine Coalition for Vaccine Choice recommends against signing any such form.

More detailed information, and links to the law, can be found on the National Vaccine Information Center’s web site: https://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/state-vaccine-requirements/maine.aspx

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