NJCVC – Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question below to view the answer.

1. What vaccines are mandated in New Jersey?

Recommendations for the use of vaccinations come from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a committee within the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Every year the ACIP meets and updates their recommendations. The CDC schedule of vaccines is based on these recommendations.

New Jersey mandates a certain number of these vaccinations for daycare and school children. The daycare and preschool mandates are linked here and the mandates for school aged children are linked here. It is important to realize that not everything recommended by the CDC is mandated at the state level.

NOTE: New Jersey is one of only 4 states that mandates the flu shot for daycare and preschool (up to 59 months of age) and is the only state to mandate the specific Meningicoccal B vaccines for all people enrolled in college classes, including online and commuter students.  Additional information on New Jersey Vaccination mandates can be found HERE.

2. What is the current law in NJ regarding vaccine exemptions?

New Jersey has mandatory vaccination regulations, however, a child can attend public or most private schools with select or no vaccines if the parent/guardian provides a valid medical or religious exemption letter to the school administrator. There is some discrepancy as to whether religious schools have the to option of denying or accepting a religious exemption. NJ does not currently allow parents to use a conscientious/philosophical vaccine exemption. Reference: 2017 Health Department Memo

3. How do I find out if my child qualifies for a medical exemption?

A medical exemption letter must be written by a licensed physician in New Jersey. Medical exemptions would apply to individuals who are allergic to any components of the vaccines, and those who have had severe reactions in the past. Also, some immunocompromised individuals taking specific medications should not receive certain vaccines. Siblings adverse reactions do not automatically exempt a child although should be thoroughly considered prior to vaccination.

Medical contraindications to vaccines are listed in the manufacturer’s package insert and the Physicians Desk Reference, yet guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and/or Centers for Disease Control usually define the medical condition/status that is acceptable for a medical exemption. Click Here for further details from the CDC.

A medical exemption must be renewed annually, and even if written by a licensed physician, the local Board of Health has the right to reject the exemption.

New Jersey specific guidelines for a medical exemption are available here.

4. Does my child qualify for a religious exemption and how do I utilize this option?

In order to qualify for a religious exemption, you must have sincere religious beliefs that prohibit vaccination. A valid religious exemption letter is required to legally exempt a child from mandated vaccines. A parent/guardian must write a letter stating that vaccinations conflict with religious beliefs. You are not obligated to disclose your religion to obtain a religious exemption.

In the recent past, school officials have erroneously requested letters from clergy or they have questioned a parents religion, as well as other discriminatory practices. According to a May 2017 memo by the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services, school administrators were specifically instructed to avoid such practices. The memo itself can be accessed here.

5. I have accepted some vaccines for my child(ren), am I required to continue?

You always have the right to consider what is best for your kids. If you choose to discontinue or delay vaccinating, however, your child is still expected to receive all state mandated vaccinations to enter school unless you qualify for a medical or religious exemption.

6. I believe my child has had a vaccine reaction, but my doctor says not to worry about it or that it is unrelated to the vaccines. What can I do?

If your child has had an adverse reaction to a vaccine, or combination of vaccines (you may review the manufacturers package inserts online or the Physicians Desk Reference for more details), your doctor is required by law to report the adverse events to federal health authorities within 30 days of occurrence. If your doctor refuses, you have the right to submit your own report. Even common, mild side effects should be reported to the federal vaccine tracking database.

Click here to access details on filing a report with VAERS, Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System. If you would like to speak with someone from NJCVC, please submit a QUESTION and someone will be in touch.  We can help guide you.

7. How do I get involved with NJCVC to help preserve the current exemptions available in New Jersey?

The best way to get involved is to JOIN NJCVC. NJCVC works with local and state elected officials to help them understand the concerns of the citizens. You will be connected to a local representative (aka district leader) who can help you understand the best way to be effective in your area.

NJCVC focuses on creating strong, personal relationships with our local advocates as well as our elected officials. By joining NJCVC you will be in communication with your local representative who will host in person gatherings and/or conference/video calls to help make sure you can stay active in the efforts to advocate for vaccination choice.

8. I haven’t been able find out on Facebook what is going on with NJCVC or what the latest action items are. How can I make sure I know what the latest information is?

The best way to stay up to date is to JOIN NJCVC. Your local representatives will make sure you stay informed. NJCVC does not utilize social media heavily. We feel strongly that we can be more effective by working to cultivate relationships and communication offline.

9. How do I use the New Jersey State Legislative website to find my legislators, locate bill information and subscribe to the bill notification service?
10. I've heard there is a way to forego the second dose of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine. How do I do this?

“The Antibody Titer Law (Holly’s Law) (NJSA 26:2N-8- 11), passed on January 14, 2004, concerns vaccination of children with the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine. The law allows parents to seek testing to determine a child’s immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella, before receiving the second dose of the vaccine.”

Please review the “Information for Parents.”

11. I have fully vaccinated my children but have heard that there is a bill that would mandate the HPV vaccines for school aged children. What are the details of this?

For the past several legislative cycles Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (LD6)  has filed a bill that would ” Require human papillomavirus vaccinations for students in grades six through 12.”

This bill is something that we have to watch closely.  At this time, NJCVC is advocating for concerned citizens to express their concerns about this bill to their local legislators. Please JOIN NJCVC to be connected with other activists in your area. Additional information on this vaccination can be found HERE.

12. I've heard that some children receive up to 9 doses of different vaccines in one day. Is this true? Do children today really receive more vaccines than when I was a child?

Yes. The schedule of recommended vaccines has increased over the past few decades. In 1960 it was recommended that people receive 5 doses of vaccines.  In the 1980s it rose to 24 doses and now, in 2020, the CDC recommends over 72 doses of vaccine before the age of 18 years. Download this flyer to share.