November 27, 2012
POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS IN CONNECTICUT AND NEW YORK
By: Nicole Dube, Associate Analyst
This report provides a brief summary of the laws in Connecticut and New York regarding exemptions from post-secondary institution immunization requirements.
Both Connecticut and New York require students attending in-state post-secondary institutions to provide proof of adequate immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). Connecticut students must also be immunized against varicella (chicken pox). Both states provide certain medical and religious exemptions from these immunization requirements, as described below.
By law, a student attending an in-state post-secondary institution may be exempted from the MMR and varicella immunization requirement by:
1. presenting a (a) doctor's certification that the immunization is contraindicated, (b) statement that immunization is contrary to his or her religious beliefs, or (c) doctor's or health director's certification that the student has had a confirmed case of the disease;
2. enrolling only in a distance learning or other program in which students do not congregate on campus (e.g., online programs); or
3. having graduated from a high school in the state after 1998 without being exempted from the MMR immunization requirement (CGS § 10a-155).
The law also requires each student who lives in on-campus housing to be vaccinated against meningitis unless he or she presents a (1) doctor's certification that the immunization is contraindicated or (2) statement that the immunization is contrary to his or her religious beliefs (CGS § 10a-155b).
NEW YORK EXEMPTIONS
A student attending an in-state post-secondary institution may be exempted from New York's MMR immunization requirement if a licensed physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or midwife caring for a pregnant student certifies that the immunization is contraindicated. An exemption may be granted on a temporary or permanent basis. A student receiving a temporary exemption must make provisions for the school to periodically review his or her records to determine if the exemption is still warranted.
New York law also provides a religious exemption from this immunization requirement if, in the school's opinion, the student or, if the student is under age 18, the student's parent or guardian holds genuine and sincere religious beliefs that are contrary to the practice of immunization. The school may require the student or his or her parent or guardian to provide supporting documentation (New York Public Health Law § 2165 and NYCRR Title 10 Section 66-2.2).
Connecticut State Department of Health:
http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3136&Q=467374, website last visited on November 26, 2012.
New York State Department of Health: http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/immunization/handbook/section_1_requirements.htm, website last visited on November 26, 2012.