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Do Vaccination Laws Apply to Private Schools?

posted on Wed, Nov 11 2015 11:22 am by The Network

State laws establish vaccination requirements for children attending public schools and often to those attending private schools. The Network recently received an inquiry about the application of vaccination laws to private schools in Arizona.

A recently published post by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, a Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, titled “Maryland Private Schools Can Exclude Unvaccinated Children,” examined a recent determination in Maryland by the Office of Counsel to the General Assembly that Maryland state statutes do not explicitly require vaccinations for private school students. Furthermore, the article explains that whether or not private schools can exclude unvaccinated students will vary state-by-state depending on how the state’s laws are written.

In Arizona, vaccination laws apply to public, private, and parochial schools:

  • Section A.R.S. § 15-872 prescribes that “[a] pupil shall not be allowed to attend school without submitting documentary proof to the school administrator unless the pupil is exempted from immunization pursuant to section 15-873.” 
  • School is defined in A.R.S. § 15-871 as  “a public, private or parochial school that offers instruction at any level or grade through twelfth grade, except for day care facilities regulated pursuant to title 36, chapter 7.1.” 
  • Additionally, A.R.S. § 15-873(A) states “Documentary proof is not required for a pupil to be admitted to school if . . . 1. The parent or guardian of the pupil submits a signed statement to the school administrator stating that the parent or guardian has received information about immunizations provided by the department of health services and understands the risks and benefits of immunizations and the potential risks of nonimmunization and that due to personal beliefs, the parent or guardian does not consent to the immunization of the pupil.”

For more information on school vaccination requirements, view this Network resource.

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