Measles vaccine laws change July 28 | Tacoma-Pierce County Health County

Later this month, families will no longer be able to exempt their children from getting the measles vaccine for personal or philosophical reasons.

  • Tuesday, July 23, 2019 2:00pm
  • News

The following is a press release from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department:

On July 28, 2019, a new law goes into effect in Washington. It removes the personal/philosophical exemption for measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. The law applies to public schools, private schools and licensed childcare centers.


  • Protects Washington residents from 3 serious diseases.
  • Applies to:
    • All (new and returning) students in public school, private school and childcare.
    • Childcare employees and volunteers.
  • Medical and religious exemptions remain. The law does not affect students with these exemptions on file.
  • Does not affect personal/philosophical exemptions for vaccines other than MMR.
  • Check to see if your family meets MMR vaccine requirements at Immunization/ChildProfileHealthPromotion/ForParents/AccessYourFamilysImmunizationInformation.
  • The law won’t affect most students. More than 90% of kindergartners—and 96% of 6th graders—are up to date with MMR vaccine.


  • Medical providers—Make sure students, employees and volunteers are ready for school and childcare with up-to-date vaccinations. Remember you are patients’ most trusted source of information about vaccines.
  • School staff—Follow up with the parent or guardian of every child who has a personal/philosophical exemption for MMR vaccine to ensure they are vaccinated before school starts. Refer to a healthcare provider or free vaccine clinic.
  • Childcare centers—Make sure employees and volunteers are up to date with MMR vaccine. Follow up with the parent or guardian of every child who has a personal/philosophical exemption for MMR vaccine to ensure they are vaccinated before coming to childcare. Refer to a healthcare provider or free vaccine clinic.


Find frequently asked questions, sample letters for schools and childcares and more information at

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

State legislators discussed COVID-19 impacts during a East King Chambers Coalition webinar on March 31 moderated by Kate Riley of The Seattle Times. Screenshot
State lawmakers discuss COVID-19 impacts with chambers

Four state lawmakers gathered for a webinar with the East King Chambers Coalition.

Fighting the coronavirus, 100 masks at a time

In the early 1930s, Dorothy Lucille used whatever she had on hand… Continue reading

Enumclaw Rehab center a hotbed for coronavirus

Ten clients and two employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

How will COVID-19 impact wildfire response?

Answers and resources are short in short supply right now, but fire academies are still planned.

Gov. Jay Inslee is pictured March 28 at a field hospital set up at the CenturyLink Field Event Center to address non-COVID-19 medical needs. (Photo courtesy of Jay Inslee’s Twitter feed)
Gov. Inslee warns of stepped-up ‘stay home’ enforcement

“Thousands of calls” from residents concerned about businesses and people not following restrictions.

6 deaths so far in Kent, 4 in Renton, 3 in Auburn from COVID-19

Latest King County results from Public Health—Seattle & King County

Members of Puget Sound Fire who will be staffed at the first responder testing site in Covington received additional training last week. Photo courtesy of Capt. Joe Root
COVID-19 testing site for first responders to open in Covington this week

Testing is by appointment only and not open to the general public.

Property tax deadline extended to June

This only affects those who pay their property taxes themselves.

Most Read