Illinois law provides for exceptions to the requirement to have your child immunized prior to entering school. The statutory deadline for providing proof of immunization is October 15 or such earlier date as the school designates, unless the parent files an objection based upon religious grounds or registers a medical objection signed by a doctor. See 105 ILCS 5/27-8.1 and 20Ill. Adm. Code 695.30. The medical or religious objection is then filed with the State for its approval. In the event the objection is found insufficient, the child will face exclusion from school until compliance is accomplished. Here some additional guidance from the state on invoking either exemption.
While personally, I am not taking a position either for or against immunizations (that is an individual and/or medical decision), parents need to know how they can opt out of the requirement of immunizations in school. Too often, parents either find themselves in a last minute crunch because the school did not give timely notice, or the parent provided a medical objection and the school found the letter to be insufficient. I am attaching a form (in pdf format) that should be sufficient for the school and the State health authorities in most cases, so parents will not have to reinvent the wheel each year. I cannot represent that this form will work in every case; my strong suggestion is to file it early in the year to allow parents time to provide any additional documentation to invoke the immunization exception. Click here to download the form.