The State of Michigan has modified the rules that change how nonmedical waivers for immunizations will be processed for schools and childcare programs. The new nonmedical waiver rule, which actually went into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, applies to children enrolled in both public and private schools, including licensed childcare, preschool and Headstart programs. It also applies to new kindergarten, seventh grade and any newly enrolled student in a district. It does not take away one’s right to obtain a nonmedical waiver for a student for religious or philosophical objections, but it must be obtained from a county health department.
Parents/guardians who want a nonmedical waiver for their student must contact the Oakland County Health Department for an appointment to speak with a health educator. During the visit, there will be a discussion about the benefits of immunizations with the health department staff. If, at the end of the visit, one still requests a nonmedical waiver for a student, the health department will issue a current, certified (stamped and signed) waiver form from the State of Michigan. If a student has a legitimate medical reason for not receiving a vaccine, a physician must sign a State of Michigan Medical Contraindication form, available at one’s doctor’s office. A child without a current, up-to-date immunization record, certified nonmedical waiver form or a physician-signed medical waiver form will be excluded from school or childcare on October 13, 2015. For more information, visit www.oakgov.com/health.