Repeal of Religious Belief Exemption to Immunization Requirements

Repeal of Religious Belie…

On June 13, 2019, the New York State legislature voted to revoke the religious belief exemption to immunization requirements under N.Y. Public Health Law § 2164(9).

The notice and time-frames for immunization remain the same. For children who register for school or are currently attending school who do not have certificates meeting immunizations requirements, the district shall inform the child’s parent of the necessity to have the child immunized.

School districts will not admit a child or permit a child to continue attending in excess of 14 days who have not provided a certificate of immunization.

This grace period may be extended to 30 days for children who are transferring from out-of-state or from another country and can show a good faith effort to obtain the necessary certification of immunization.

The statute was further amended to permit a 30 day grace period extension if the parent can demonstrate that their child has received at least the first dose in each immunization series and has appointments scheduled to complete the immunization series.

These changes to the law take effect immediately. We recommend that School District's have their Nurse’s Office review the immunization records of children who previously received a religious belief exemption and inform the parents of what immunizations their child will now require in order to continue attending school.

N.Y. Public Health Law § 2164(2)(a) requires adequate doses of immunizing against poliomyelitis, mumps, measles, diphtheria, rubella, varicella, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), pertussis, tetanus, pneumococcal disease, and hepatitis B.

Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule

Frequently Asked Questions About Legislation Removing Non-Medical Exemptions from School Vaccination Requirements

For more information or if you have questions relating to the above, please contact us at (518) 512-4580 or