Emergency Regulations for School Immunization Requirements

On July 13, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed legislation that removed non-medical exemptions (religious exemptions) from school vaccination requirements. The NYS Department of Health and the Office of Children and Family Services released emergency regulations that clarify and implement the statute.  The full emergency regulations may be found at: https://dingo.telicon.com/NY/library/2019/20190816ZY.PDF.

The following is a very brief summary of the emergency regulations:

  • A medical exemption from a physician licensed to practice medicine in New York State, must certify that the immunization may be detrimental to the child’s health and must identify the “medical contraindication of a specific immunization and specify the length of time the immunization is medically contraindicated.” The exemption must be made on a form approved by the NYS Department of Health and reissued annually.
  • Detrimental to the child’s health has been defined as “a child has a medical contraindication or precaution to a specific immunization consistent with ACIP guidance or other nationally recognized evidence-based standard of care.”
  • The patient information, including the reason that the immunization may be detrimental to the child’s health must be submitted within 14 days to the statewide immunization information system.
  • The principal of person in charge of the school may require additional information supporting the exemption.

Please feel free to contact SAANYS Director of Government Relations, Cindy Gallagher, with any questions or comments at cgallagher@saanys.org or 518-782-0600.