PA 15-174—sHB 6949

Public Health Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING CHILDHOOD VACCINATIONS

SUMMARY: Existing law exempts children from school immunization requirements if the child presents a statement from his or her parents or guardians that the immunization would be contrary to the child's religious beliefs. This act additionally exempts children who present a statement that the immunization would be contrary to the parents' or guardians' religious beliefs. It requires any such statement to be officially acknowledged by a notary public, Connecticut-licensed attorney, judge, family support magistrate, court clerk or deputy clerk, town clerk, or justice of the peace. (PA 15-242, 68 also allows school nurses to officially acknowledge the statement. )

The act extends the above requirement to children (1) attending child day care centers and group or family day care homes and (2) whose parents or guardians object to such immunization on religious grounds. (Existing Office of Early Childhood regulations require the submission of a religious exemption statement, but do not require it to be acknowledged. )

Under the act, the child's parents or guardians must submit the religious exemption statement annually in order for the child to remain enrolled in a public or private school, child day care center, or group or family day care home. (PA 15-242 eliminates the annual submission requirement and instead requires submission of the statement (1) once for children attending child day care centers and group or family day care homes and (2) before a public or private school student enrolls in seventh grade, in addition to when he or she initially enrolls in school, as existing law requires. )

In addition to the above religious exemption, existing law also provides a medical exemption for children who document that such immunization is medically contraindicated.  

The act also makes technical and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2015

OLR Tracking: ND: JO: TA: cmg