Diocese of Jefferson City parish and high school families recently received notification from the Catholic School Office about the State of Missouri’s mandatory vaccination policy, which the School Office has included among its policies and procedures for Catholic schools in the Diocese. To ensure that everyone is properly informed about this policy, we are providing the following information.
Preventive vaccination for certain illnesses has been mandatory under Missouri state law for school children in public, private, parochial or parish schools since 1961. “It is unlawful for any student to attend school unless he has been immunized as required under the rules and regulations of the department of health and senior services, and can provide satisfactory evidence of such immunization.” Exceptions are permitted under the law for medical and religious purposes. (Section 167.181, Missouri Revised Statutes, and 19 Code of State Regulations 20-28.010)
Following state law, the School Office provides in its school policy DSR 5105 that:
Students may not be enrolled in school unless they are in compliance with the immunization requirements or qualify for either:
(1) a medical exemption as confirmed by a statement from a duly licensed physician; or
(2) a religious exemption as confirmed by a statement from the family’s faith leader that is furnished by the parents or legal guardian of the student. Religious exemptions for Catholic families will not be accepted.
The medical exemption requires a signed certification by a licensed physician on a state-specified form (Imm.P.12) that “either the immunization would seriously endanger the student’s health or life or the student has documentation of disease or laboratory evidence of immunity to the disease.” The form must be placed with the school immunization health record for each student with a medical exemption.
If you have any questions about the state law or diocesan policy, please contact Deacon Joyce.