Vaccination optional

New personal-belief exemption forms for vaccination in school released

California health officials released a Personal Belief Exemption form on Oct. 30 that places new requirements on parents or guardians who want to opt out of vaccinating their school-age children due to personal beliefs.

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2109 (which goes into effect Jan. 1). The law mandates that parents or guardians must indicate to their child’s school in writing that immunizations are contrary to their personal beliefs, in addition to completing a form signed by a licensed health-care practitioner who has explained the potential benefits and risks of immunization, according to a California Department of Public Health press release.

There is now a separate section on the form for families adhering to a religion that does not permit members to get medical care or advice from a health-care practitioner.