Monday, July 30, 2007

Massachusetts Religious Exemptions From Vaccination Up

Boston's WCBV-TV yesterday reported an increase in the number of Massachusetts parents claiming a religious exemption from the requirement that their children be vaccinated before entering school. In 2001, 343 kindergartners received an exemption, while last year that number was up to 474. Unlike 18 other states, Massachusetts does not provide an exemption for philosophical objections to vaccination-- as opposed to religious ones. 76 MGL Sec. 15 exempts a "child whose parent or guardian states in writing that vaccination or immunization conflicts with his sincere religious beliefs...." However it appears that a number of the parents claiming an exemption actually had philosophical rather than religious concerns.