The message of mandatory vaccinations on school billboards all over town is misleading when Texas law expressly allows specific exemptions for parents who would prefer their children not receive recommended school vaccinations. The National Vaccine Information Center notes that all states have medical exemptions, most states offer religious exemptions, and a few states offer “philosophical or conscientious belief” exemptions.
Texas is one of the states that offers all three exemptions. State law allows physicians to write a statement saying that a specific vaccine or vaccines would be harmful to a child or other person in the household. The law also allows parents or guardians to request an official exemption affidavit for reasons of conscience, including religious beliefs.
To request an exemption affidavit online, go to www.webds. dshs.state.tx.us/immco. You can also download a paper request that can be mailed or faxed to TDSHS at www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/ school. Completed affidavits should be taken to your child’s school.
For more information about required immunizations, obtaining immunization records and immunization exemptions in Texas, visit www.immunizetexas.com.