New law removes exemptions for MMR Vaccine

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New law removes exemptions for MMR Vaccine
MMR vaccination

As of July 28, 2019, a new state law removes the personal and philosophical option to exempt children from the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine required for school and child care attendance. Medical and religious exemptions are not affected by this new law.

Families who have exempt children from the MMR vaccine for personal and philosophical reasons need to provide updated immunization paperwork at or before the start of the 2019-20 school year, starting on September 4, 2019. Children without a medical or religious exemption will need two doses of MMR vaccine to be allowed into school.

Because MMR vaccine doses must be administered at least a month apart, children may be entered into school if they have paperwork showing at least one dose of MMR vaccine by the beginning of the school year. This will place students under conditional status for up to 30 days, at which point families will need to provide records showing the student received the second dose of vaccine.

In Summary:​


  • Personal/philosophical exemptions for MMR are no longer valid.
  • Children need proof of MMR vaccination by the first day of school.
  • Children not compliant with state vaccine requirements may be excluded from school.


The following resources may be helpful in accessing children’s immunization records or finding locations where free immunizations are offered in September:


  • How to access immunization records: The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has shared on its website several ways families can access their child’s immunization information, including from their health care providers.
  • Where to get local free immunizations: View a flyer from the Thurston County Medical Reserve Corps informing the community of local free immunizations offered September 21 at a back-to-school immunization clinic.
  • Where to find a list of required immunizations, Certificate of Immunization Status, and Certificate of Exemption: Visit the DOH website to learn what immunizations are required and related forms, including the Certificate of Immunization Status. This form is available in different languages. The site also contains the Certificate of Exemption form.