Vaccine Exemptions in Ohio

Daycare & Preschool Exemptions


Vaccine Exemptions in Daycare and Preschool ARE NOT All Guaranteed in Ohio. Here's what you need to know... Currently daycares and preschools CAN discriminate against children in the state of Ohio based on vaccine status. Meaning, a daycare or preschool CAN refuse admission, unenroll, or punish students or those seeking enrollment based on their refusal to receive all or some vaccines the daycare or preschool requires as a prerequisite of enrollment. If you would like to know more about legislation OhioAMF is currently working to have passed in our state that would help protect those refusing vaccination, please visit Legislative Action page. Which Daycare & Preschool Exemptions are and aren't Available

  • Privately-Owned Childcare Providers have full authority to require 100% vaccination for admission. This is regardless of any state or public funding they receive. This policy must be outlined in their handbook.
  • Public Childcare Providers MUST accept ALL exemptions allowed for by Ohio Revised Code (Religious, Reasons of Conscience and Medical). OAMF is providing this statement for parents to give for a vaccine exemption, which is consistent with the wording of the law.
  • Religious and Reason of Conscience Exemptions do not require a signature from a medical professional in either of the above.
If your Daycare or Preschool is denying your child entry? You can choose to employ legal counsel, contact us before trying to remedy the situation yourself. Why can a privately-owned provider deny my child admission? On 2/14/2017, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) posted new requirements for all ODE-licensed child care providers. They say these are based off changes made in September 2016 to the Child Care Development Block Grant (45 C.F.R. 98). As part of these changes, ODE instructed child care providers to provide written information to families in three areas including a change in their ability to use reasons of conscience exemptions. They go on to say that ‘Licensing specialists will be looking that your program removes “reasons of conscience” language from information you give parents in handbooks, websites or forms to record immunizations.’ OAMF was sent to this website by ODE as the basis for their determination that reasons of conscience exemptions are no longer acceptable. We were told that ODE’s legal team had reviewed the final rule changes prior to them making the new requirements. Specifically, they said: ‘The federal Child Care Development Block Grant now requires that the exemptions allowed are limited to the following: Sec 98.41 Health and Safety Requirements (B) Notwithstanding this paragraph (a)(1)i), Lead Agencies may exempt: (1) Children who are cared for by relatives (defined as grandparents, great grandparents, siblings (if living in a separate residence), aunts and uncles), provided there are no other unrelated children who are cared for in the same setting. (2) Child who receive care in their own homes, provided there are no other unrelated children who are cared for in the home. (3) Children whose parents object to immunization on religious grounds. (4) Children whose medical condition contraindicates immunization. With this language, both ODJFS and ODE had to delete the existing language “reasons on conscience” from the immunization exemptions in our respective sets of rules. The deletion does not change a parents’ ability to decline immunizations for their child on religious or medical reasons and should not change our actual practice except that medical forms which have “reasons of conscience” checked will need to be updated by the parent. ODE does not require a specific form be completed as proof of immunizations or exemption, thus there is no form revision associated with the new requirement.’ We asked for more information and were sent a website for the Child Care and Development Fund Final Rule. We found a document that showed which sections had been amended — tracked changes — and the language for immunization exemptions (Sec. 98.41) was part of the changes! What has been changed is leniency in giving homeless and foster care children time to comply with the immunization requirements, for the most part. In further reviewing the C.F.R. and its many changes, we noted that the language states: Sec. 98.3 Effect on State law. (a) Nothing in the Act or this part shall be construed to supersede or modify any provision of a State constitution or State law that prohibits the expenditure of public funds in or by sectarian organizations, except that no provision of a State constitution or State law shall be construed to prohibit the expenditure in or by sectarian institutions of any Federal funds provided under this part. (b) If a State law or constitution would prevent CCDF funds from being expended for the purposes provided in the Act, without limitation, then States shall segregate State and Federal funds. In fact, at the very beginning, the goal of the fund is stated as “(1) To allow each State maximum flexibility in developing child care programs and policies that best suit the needs of children and parents within that State.” For the part (b), we have to wonder how the ODE is justifying a blanket change to cover all licensed child care providers, no matter if they benefit from the block grant or not. It seems that there are mechanisms in place to allow flexibility and not supersede Ohio law. Where is the evidence that ODE explored these options? ODE says that medical forms that have reasons of conscience checked will have to be updated by parents and that they do not use a specific form, but they fail to acknowledge that their rule change went directly against ORC 5104.014, which states a child is not required to be immunized if: “The child’s parent or guardian has declined to have the child immunized against the disease for reasons of conscience, including religious convictions.” ODE maintains that religious and medical exemptions will still be accepted but does not seem to realize that the way the law is written, religious exemptions are included in reasons of conscience! They believe the law should be modified to reflect their rule change. ODE has effectively decided that the law does not apply to them, even though the law was written to cover child care, preschool, and head start and is referred to by the Ohio Department of Health. To our knowledge, changes to state law require the legislature. When we asked the Speaker’s office to investigate, we were given an answer that this was federal law, so the federal legislators would have to be the ones to act. Apparently, Speaker Rosenberger believes it is fine for a state agency to make rules that supersede state law without first having the legislature change that law. Luckily, several other legislators are not content with that explanation and are conducting their own investigations. When we looked on the site for guidance to lead agencies such as ODE, we found these FAQs for changes to the Health and Safety section. Note that immunization exemptions are not even mentioned because that wording was not changed. However, also note that the FAQs specifically call out past licensing (not immunization) exemptions, which often included school-age child care programs provided by public schools. ODE is, therefore, extending this new exclusion of reasons of conscience exemptions to after-school and other programs with school-age children. Submit a Complaint Do you believe your daycare or preschool has misinformed, misled, bullied, harassed, or discriminated against you regarding your child's vaccine status. Please submit an online complaint to OAMF for our review and action.




K-12 Public & Private School Exemptions​


Vaccine Exemptions in k-12 Public & Private Schools ARE Guaranteed in Ohio. Here's what you need to know... Currently k-12 public and private schools CANNOT discriminate against children in the state of Ohio based on vaccine status. Meaning, a k-12 public and private school CANNOT refuse admission, unenroll, or punish students or those seeking enrollment based on their refusal to receive all or some vaccines the daycare or preschool requires as a prerequisite of enrollment. If you would like to know more about legislation OhioAMF is currently working to have passed in our state that would help protect those refusing vaccination, please visit Legislative Action page.​ Know the Law DENIAL, HARASSMENT OF, or FAILURE TO INFORM parents of their RIGHT to Reasons of Conscience, Religious, or Medical Vaccine exemptions in the state of Ohio is Unethical. Rights to freedom of conscience/religion and informed consent are protected by the Ohio and US Constitutions, and state law specifically allows parents to decline any or all vaccines required for school in writing. OHIO: A pupil who presents a written statement of the pupil’s parent or guardian in which the parent or guardian declines to have the pupil immunized for reasons of conscience, including religious convictions, is not required to be immunized. Medical exemptions are also allowed. ORC Ann. § 3313.671 Proof of required immunizations – exceptions Know the Facts The school website and all written notices stating that parents are required to submit immunization records or else child will be excluded from participation in school, SHOULD IDEALLY STATE — “unless parent has submitted a reasons of conscience, religious, or medical exemption”. Failure to do so leaves the school/district presenting incomplete information to parents. School exemption forms are not required by law (only parents declining in writing is) and should also use current wording, not require clergy or other religious validation, and not contain extra information such as that parents are putting their child and others at risk. K-12 School Exemption Form Medical exemptions are typically completed by a physician and submitted to the school district. While reasons of conscience and religious exemptions require no specific form and could simply be written on a scrap piece of paper and submitted to school officials, we make a form available to parents for their convenience. Submit a Complaint Do you believe your k-12 school has misinformed, misled, bullied, harassed, or discriminated against you regarding your child's vaccine status. Please submit an online complaint to OAMF for our review and action.




College & University Exemptions​


Vaccine Exemptions in Colleges and Universities ARE NOT Guaranteed in Ohio. Here's what you need to know... Currently colleges and universities CAN discriminate against students in the state of Ohio based on vaccine status. Meaning, a college or university CAN refuse admission, unenroll, or punish students or those seeking enrollment based on their refusal to receive all or some vaccines the college or university requires as a prerequisite of enrollment. If you would like to know more about legislation OhioAMF is currently working to have passed in our state that would help protect those refusing vaccination, please visit Legislative Action page. Know the Law The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 1713.55 states that beginning with the academic year that commences on or after July 1, 2005, an institution of higher education shall not permit a student to reside in on-campus housing unless the student (or the student’s parent if the student is younger than 18 years of age) discloses whether the student has been vaccinated against meningococcal disease and hepatitis B by submitting a meningitis and hepatitis B vaccination status statement. Please note that Ohio law does not require vaccination of the student, nor does it require the institution to provide or pay for vaccines. The law requires only disclosure of vaccination status of the student. HOWEVER, state law does not preclude colleges and universities from requiring vaccination as a prerequisite of admission, thus leaving colleges and universities the ability to make that requirement. http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/1713.55
http://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhprograms/bid/immunization/collegeimm.aspx Submit a Complaint Do you believe your college or university has misinformed, misled, bullied, harassed, or discriminated against you regarding your vaccine status. Please submit an online complaint to OAMF for our review and action.




Employment Exemptions​


Vaccine Exemptions in employment scenarios ARE NOT Guaranteed in Ohio. Here's what you need to know... Currently employers CAN discriminate against employees in the state of Ohio based on vaccine status. Meaning, an employer CAN not hire, fire, or punish employees or those seeking employment based on their refusal to receive all or some vaccines the employer requires as a prerequisite of employment. Since inception, OhioAMF has been fighting for legislation to protect Ohio employees. If you would like to know more about legislation OhioAMF is currently working to have passed in our state that would help protect those refusing vaccination, please visit Legislative Action page. Ohio workers need protection from employer vaccine mandates! In recent years, some Ohio workers have been reassigned jobs, lost merit pay and promotions, and some have been fired for declining employer mandated vaccinations. Some have left careers they loved, some have gotten sick or experienced short and long term injuries, and at least one died because of this overreaching corporate policy. Mandatory vaccination as a condition of employment violates the principles of informed consent, personal liberty, and religious freedom defined in the Geneva Conventions, the Ohio and United States Constitutions, the Civil Rights Act, the American Medical Association’s Code of Medical Ethics, the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, and Ohio Revised Code 2317.54. Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom will be very clear on this issue: We believe that all Ohioans deserve to receive the fundamental right to both informed consent and bodily autonomy. Submit a Complaint Do you believe your employer has misinformed, misled, bullied, harassed, or discriminated against you regarding your vaccine status. Please submit an online complaint to OAMF for our review and action.





We need your help. Donate.

Tel/fax: 1-877-OHIOAMF | Email: info@ohioamf.org | PO Box 151221, Columbus, Ohio 43215

2015 - 2020 © Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom. All Rights Reserved

Web Development By: proVanceTek LLC

Background Image (CC BY 2.0)

  • Facebook Clean
  • Twitter Clean
  • White YouTube Icon

OAMF is a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(4) of the IRS code.
Donations are unlimited and greatly appreciated, unfortunately they are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Thank you for your generosity.

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL OR LEGAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics surrounding medical freedom and choice. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.