What vaccination exemptions does your state allow?

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(CNN) — All 50 states have laws requiring certain vaccines for children. But most people are familiar with the fact that exemptions to these requirements exist. All states allow some type of exemptions for medical reasons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which has compiled each state’s laws on the subject.

Besides medical reasons, exemptions to vaccination requirements fall into two general categories: religious exemptions and philosophical ones for those who find vaccines a violation of their personal or moral beliefs.

Religious exemptions

48 states: Every state allows religious exemptions except for two — Mississippi and West Virginia.

Philosophical exemptions

20 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri*, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin.

*The philosophical exemption in Missouri only applies to day care, preschool and nursery school.

This list is adapted from the National Conference on State Legislatures, which cites the Immunization Action Coalition, an immunization advocacy group, for the data.


  • B Gregory

    Childhood illnesses were one of God’s creations. We do our best to provide a good environment so our children will be healthy. If they get sick, it is wonderful to have medical treatments, and if a child dies, he died a natural death. If, on the other hand, we vaccinate a healthy child knowing that there is a risk however small and that child dies, we are guilty of murder. God did not make a mistake when he created us or disease. We make a mistake when we try to play God.

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