Exemption Information - School Immunizations


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Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §97.62 describes the conditions under which children and students can seek exemptions from immunization requirements in Texas elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education. Exclusions from compliance are allowable on an individual basis for medical contraindications, active duty with the armed forces of the United States, and reasons of conscience, including a religious belief.

NOTE: These exemptions only pertain to students in Texas who seek exemptions from school-required immunizations. These exemptions are not for employees seeking exemptions from employer-mandated immunizations. 


Exemptions for Medical Reasons

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) considers vaccines to be very safe and encourages all Texans to be vaccinated according to the ACIP recommended schedule. DSHS recognizes, however, that for a small number of people, there may be valid medical reasons for which they cannot receive certain vaccines. For school and childcare attendance, the state allows for medical exemptions to accommodate these individuals. Schools and childcare facilities should accept medical exemptions that are signed by a US-licensed MD or DO and clearly state a medical reason the person cannot receive specific vaccines. Unless the exemption states a lifelong condition, the exemption is only valid for one year.


Exclusions for Armed Forces Service Members

To claim an exclusion for armed forces, persons who can prove that they are serving on active duty with the armed forces of the United States are exempted from the requirements in these sections.

Note: Armed forces exclusions apply to active-duty military only. Dependents of service members are NOT excluded from Texas vaccination requirements.


Requesting an Exemption for Reasons of Conscience

To claim an exclusion for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief, the child's parent, legal guardian, or a student 18 years of age or older must present to the school or child-care facility a completed, signed and notarized affidavit on a form provided by the department stating that the child's parent, legal guardian, or the student declines vaccinations for reasons of conscience, including because of the person's religious beliefs.

The form must be submitted to the school or child-care facility within 90 days from the date it is notarized. The affidavit will be valid for a two-year period from the date of notarization. A child or student who has not received the required immunizations for reasons of conscience, including religious beliefs, may be excluded from school in times of emergency or epidemic declared by the commissioner of the department.


How to Obtain an Affidavit

This affidavit is to request exclusion for reasons of conscience, including religious belief, from required school immunizations. A parent or legal guardian may request this affidavit on behalf of their child or student using the forms and methods outlined below. The request must include the following information: 

  • Full name of child or student
  • Child's or student's date of birth (month/day/year)
  • Complete mailing address, including telephone number
  • Number of requested affidavit forms (not to exceed 5).

NOTE:

  • The COVID-19 vaccine is not listed on this exemption request affidavit. This school vaccine exemption affidavit only allows exemptions to vaccines required by Texas schools and day care facilities, and the state of Texas does not currently require the COVID-19 vaccine for attendance at these facilities.
  • Texas DSHS is unable to expedite any requests. Affidavit form requests will be processed in the order they are received and mailed within three weeks from receipt of the request. If any clarifying information is needed in order to process the affidavit, you will be notified
  • Affidavits must be notarized and should not be modified in any way before submission to the school or childcare facility.

Email or telephone requests cannot be processed. Requests for affidavit forms may only be submitted to the department either online, by mail, by fax, or in person using the methods below:

Requesting an Affidavit Online

Affidavits may be requested via the Immunization Section Affidavit Request websiteIt is recommended individuals use the Microsoft Edge web browser when submitting a vaccine exemption request online. Other web browsers may not function properly.

Requesting an Affidavit By Mail

A written request for an affidavit may be sent through the United States Postal Service (or other commercial carrier).  Print and then mail the Request for Exemption from Immunizations for Reasons of Conscience to:

Texas Department of State Health Services
Immunization Section, Mail Code 1946
P.O. Box 149347
Austin, Texas 78714-9347

Requesting an Affidavit By Fax

Print and then fax the Request for Exemption from Immunizations for Reasons of Conscience to: (512) 776-7544.

Requesting an Affidavit In Person

NOTE: No requests will be filled at the time of hand-delivery of a request. All affidavit forms will be mailed to you via U.S. Postal Service.

Requests for an affidavit may be made in-person at:

Texas Department of State Health Services
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, Texas 78756


Obtaining an Affidavit for Community College or Public Junior College

Students attending community college or public junior college may generate and print a conscientious exemption affidavit for the bacterial meningitis vaccine requirement online at the Meningococcal Vaccination Exemption Website.  


Frequently Asked Questions

For further information on the exemption process, please see the Frequently Asked Questions on Vaccine Exemptions for Reasons of Conscience page on this website.

Last updated September 14, 2021