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Information on New Immunization Law

 

Immunization laws effective school year 2020-21

Licensed physicians will transmit electronic standardized exemption certificate directly to California Immunization Registry.  Students who have an existing medical exemption, issued before January 1, 2020, may continue with enrollment in school until the child enrolls in the next "grade span."

 

"Through Senate Bills (SB) 276 and 714, California lawmakers narrowed the use of medical exemptions from immunization requirements by requiring a singular exemption form and consolidating oversight through the California Department of Public Health. In creating stricter scrutiny over medical exemptions, SB 276 and 714 continue in the spirit of SB 277, adopted in 2015, eliminating religious and personal belief exemptions to school vaccine mandates. 

By January 1, 2021, the California Department of Public Health must develop an electronic, standardized, statewide medical exemption certification form that must be used by licensed physicians and surgeons and must be transmitted directly to the California Immunization Registry.  As of January 1, 2021, this standardized form will be the only documentation of a medical exemption that school districts may accept.

Parents or guardians may continue to file a written statement by a licensed physician and surgeon to the effect that the child's physical condition is such that immunization is not considered safe, and that the child will still be exempt from the specified requirements, until January 1, 2021.

Students who have an existing medical exemption, issued before January 1, 2020, may continue with enrollment in school until the child enrolls in the next "grade span."   These are defined as birth to preschool, TK, Kindergarten to Grade 6, and Grades 7-12.

  As of January 1, 2021, school districts will be able to accept only one medical  exemption immunization certification form. This will streamline medical and registration processes for schools."

(SB 277) Effective in 2016

Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 277 on June 30, 2015. Starting in 2016, SB 277 will: 

  • No longer permit immunization exemptions based on personal beliefs for children in child care and public and private schools;

  • Permit personal belief exemptions submitted before January 1, 2016 to remain valid until a pupil reaches kindergarten or 7th grade;

  • Remove immunization requirements for:

    •  Students in home-based private schools

    • Students enrolled in an independent study program who do not receive classroom-based instruction

    • Access to special education and related services specified in an individualized education program

Students in the above categories will still need to provide immunization records to their schools before entry, and schools will still need to report to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) the immunization status of all students at the existing checkpoints of child care, kindergarten and 7th grade. 

  • Allow medical and personal beliefs exemptions from any new immunization requirement initiated by CDPH for attendance at school or child care.

Resources

Immunization Requirements for School Admission

Shots for Schools 

Additional information about the implementation of SB 277 will become available by 2016.