A lot of parents in Idaho might wonder where Idaho stands in regards to vaccinations. Many parents feel strongly about this subject and want the right to make their own choice in deciding when and if to have their children vaccinated.

In Idaho, children must satisfy certain vaccination requirements before attending school. However, Idaho makes it fairly easy for parents to claim exemptions to this rule.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare offers a certificate of immunization exemption from the school immunization requirement for certain children. The certificate allows parents to claim an exemption from each vaccination individually for medical, religious or philosophical reasons. 

State law in Idaho requires vaccines for:

  • Measles
  • mumps and rubella,
  • diphtheria,
  • tetanus,
  • pertussis,
  • polio,
  • hepatitis B, hepatitis A
  • varicella.

Seventh-graders are also required to get a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) shot and a meningococcal shot. 

Families who do not have the financial means to pay for vaccinations may be eligible for the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. This program offers free vaccinations to lower income and underinsured children.

The medical exemption must be signed by the child’s physician and can be either permanent or temporary with an expiration date. The parent is also required to sign this form. For religious exemptions, parents must claim that their religious organization has a doctrine which is opposed to vaccines. The parent is required to write in the reasons and must agree to keep the child home from school in the event of a disease outbreak.

Idaho also allows for a philosophical exemption. The parent must simply write the reasons for opposition to vaccines and agree to keep the child home from school if there is an outbreak of the unimmunized disease. No notary is required for the form. The same exemptions can be claimed for children in childcare situations. 

While some might object to those who opt out of vaccinations for their children, Idaho makes it easier for parents to exercise their rights and choose what is best for their own children.

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