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.
ABOUT THE NEW LAW
- 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 www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/ 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 www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Schools/Immunization/ExemptionLawChange.