NJ Vaccine Exemptions

New Jersey Vaccine Exemptions as They Currently Exist

The following information is meant to explain New Jersey vaccination exemptions as they currently exist.

Under New Jersey law, there are two types of exemptions available to parents that may be used when registering NJ students for school:

  1. Medical – This may be granted when a child has an adverse reaction or contraindication to a vaccine, in accordance with CDC guidelines, and will exempt that child from further vaccines of the same type. It must be written by a physician or nurse practitioner. It is for that child only and may not be extended to siblings.
  2. Religious – A parent or guardian may file a religious exemption if the practice of vaccination violates a sincerely held religious belief. The parent or guardian must write a letter to the school nurse in order to claim this exemption. A RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION IS ONLY AVAILABLE WHEN THE REASON IS RELIGIOUS. NEW JERSEY LAW DOES NOT PERMIT PARENTS TO EXEMPT THEIR CHILDREN FOR PHILOSOPHICAL, MORAL, OR CONSCIENTIOUS REASONS.

In addition, under some circumstances, children may be exempted from a specific vaccine when a blood test indicates that they have a certain level of antibodies, also known as serology titers, to that illness. An example of this is Holly’s Law (http://nj.gov/health/cd/documents/antibody_titer_law.pdf), but there are other situations when it may also apply.

For more information, see the New Jersey Department of Health’s Frequently Asked Questions about immunization regulations