Maine’s New School Vaccine Law Goes Into Effect Today
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England radio personality and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
A new change in a law passed by the Maine Legislature in May of 2019 goes into effect today removes some vaccination exemptions for children going to public or private schools in the state.
Bill LD 7 98 was signed into law by Governor Janet Mills in May and it removes the exemptions that we allowed for required vaccinations of school children due to philosophical or religious reasons. With the change, the only exemptions allowed for required vaccines in order to attend school are for medical reasons.
Maine currently requires children have five vaccines in order to attend public or private schools. The five vaccines protect against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, varicella and meningococcal disease.
According to the Maine Department of Education, medical exemptions are still allowed and there is an exception for those students with an Individualized Education Plan and either philosophical or religious exemption that is in place prior to Sept 1, 2021.
To learn more about the requirements and how to claim a medical exemption for a child, visit the Maine Department of Education website.