A student must be fully immunized against certain diseases or must present a certificate or statement that, for medical reasons or reasons of conscience, including a religious belief, the student will not be immunized. For exemptions based on reasons of conscience, only official forms issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS), Immunization Branch, can be honored by the district. This form may be obtained by writing the TDSHS Immunization Branch (MC 1946), P.O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347; or online at https://webds.dshs.state.tx.us/immco/affidavit.shtm. The form must be notarized and submitted to the principal or school nurse within 90 days of notarization. If the parent is seeking an exemption for more than one student in the family, a separate form must be provided for each student.
The immunizations required are: diphtheria, rubeola (measles), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis (polio), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, varicella (chicken pox), and meningococcal. The school nurse can provide information on age-appropriate doses or on an acceptable physician-validated history of illness required by the TDSHS. Proof of immunization may be established by personal records from a licensed physician or public health clinic with a signature or rubber-stamp validation.
If a student should not be immunized for medical reasons, the student or parent must present a certificate signed by a U.S. licensed physician stating that, in the doctor’s opinion, the immunization required poses a significant risk to the health and well-being of the student or a member of the student’s family or household. This certificate must be renewed yearly unless the physician specifies a life-long condition. [For further information, see policy FFAB(LEGAL) and the TDSHS Web site: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school/default.shtm.
Immunization Changes for 2009-2010
The Executive Commissioner on Health and Human Services approved several revisions to the "Immunization Requirements for Children and Students in Texas Public and Private Schools". The changes to the requirement were made in order to update the Texas elementary and secondary school immunization requirements so that they adhere more closely to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
These changes include: