Texas law allows (a) physicians to write medical exemption statements that the vaccine(s) required would be medically harmful or injurious to the health and wellbeing of the child or household member, and (b) parents/guardians to choose an exemption from immunization requirements for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. The law does not allow parents/guardians to elect an exemption simply because of inconvenience (for example, a record is lost or incomplete and it is too much trouble to go to a physician or clinic to correct the problem). Schools should maintain an up-to-date list of students with exemptions, so they may be excluded in times of emergency or epidemic declared by the commissioner of public health.
An exemption affidavit must be signed by parents/guardians choosing the exemption for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. To obtain an exemption, access this page on the Texas Department of State Health Services website. The original Exemption Affidavit must be completed, notarized and submitted to the school. This process may take 5 to 10 business days. Students without a valid exemption will be excluded from school until the exemption is provided to the home campus.
For children claiming medical exemptions, a written statement by the physician must be submitted to the school. Unless it is written in the statement that a lifelong condition exists, the exemption statement is valid for only one year from the date signed by the physician.