CHAPTER 91

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 91

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE PUBLIC SCHOOL ENROLLEES' IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend §131(a), Title 14 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 131 Public school enrollees' immunization program; exemptions.

(a) The Department shall from time to time, with advice from the Division of Public Health, adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to establish an immunization program to protect pupils enrolled in public schools from certain diseases. Such rules and regulations shall include at least the following:

(5) Provision for exemption from any or all of the immunization program prescribed for a particular enrollee upon a written statement from a physician, i.e., medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy, stating that the enrollee should not receive the prescribed immunization or immunizations required in the basic series because of the reasonable certainty of a reaction detrimental to that person. The asserted cause of medical exemption may be subject to review and approval by the Division of Public Health. A history of clinical illness of measles or rubella shall not be accepted as cause for exemption. The parents or legal guardian of a child medically exempt from the immunization program shall be informed by schools of the provisions within paragraph (a)(7) of this section;

(6) Provision for exemption from the immunization program for an enrollee whose parents or legal guardian, because of individual religious beliefs, reject the concept of immunization. Such a request for exemption shall be supported by the affidavit herein set forth:

AFFIDAVIT OF RELIGIOUS BELIEF

STATE OF DELAWARE

__________________ COUNTY }

1. (I) (We) (am) (are) the (parent(s)) (legal guardian(s)) of

Name of Child

2. (I) (We) hereby (swear) (affirm) that (I) (we) subscribe to a belief in a relation to a Supreme Being involving duties superior to those arising from any human relation.

3. (I) (We) further (swear) (affirm) that our belief is sincere and meaningful and occupies a place in (my) (our) life parallel to that filled by the orthodox belief in God.

4. This belief is not a political, sociological or philosophical view of a merely personal moral code.

5. This belief causes (me) (us) to request an exemption from the mandatory school vaccination program for Name of Child.

6. (I) (We) acknowledge that, in the event that the Division of Public Health declares that there is an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease, or if in the estimation of the Division of Public Health, (my) (our) child has had, or is at risk of having an exposure to a vaccine preventable disease, (my) (our) child shall be temporarily excluded from attendance at the public school, in which case, it will be (my) (our) responsibility, along with the school, to assist (my) (our) child in keeping up with school work, and (my) (our) child shall be authorized to return to school once approved by the Division of Public Health.

7. (I) (We) acknowledge that (I) (we) have been given the opportunity to receive from the school district information regarding the medical benefits and risks in choosing whether to have the child participate in the immunization program, and if (I) (we) have not taken that opportunity, it is hereby waived.

                          

__________________________________

Signature of Parent(s) or Legal Guardian(s)

SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me, a registered Notary Public, this __________ day of ____________, _______

                          (Seal)

                          Notary Public

                          My commission expires:

(7) Provision that, in the event that the Division of Public Health of the Department of Health and Social Services of the State declares that there is throughout the State or in a particular definable region of the State an epidemic an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease or if in the estimation of the Division of Public Health any child has had or is at risk of having an exposure to a vaccine preventable disease, any child who is enrolled in a public school and who has been exempt from the immunization program for any of the causes authorized herein shall be temporarily excluded from attendance at the public school. Rules and regulations of the Department shall provide that in the event of such temporary exclusion, it will be the responsibility of the school and the parents or legal guardian of the enrollee to assist the enrollee in keeping up with that enrollee's school work and that no academic penalty shall be suffered by the enrollee upon return to school if the student has maintained that student's relationship with the school through the assignments prescribed. An enrollee so temporarily excluded shall be authorized to return to school upon the lifting by the Division of Public Health of the epidemic declaration once approved by the Division of Public Health; 

Approved July 15, 2015