Vaccine Information

No Shots, No School, Not Really.

By Dawn Richardson, NVIC Director of Advocacy

It is back to school time and, once again, there is an epidemic of misinformation about school vaccine requirements.

We have received reports from around the country of schools and the media withholding information about the vaccine exemptions available to families in their state.   All one has to do is insert the phrase “no shots no school” into their favorite internet search engine to see the problem for themselves.

When a school or the media uses the expression “No Shots No School,” they not only mislead the public by omission, they place the health and safety of children, who have had previous vaccine reactions or a family history of vaccine reactions, at risk. Misinformation about requirements and exemptions can cause a child, who could have been eligible for an exemption, to be vaccinated with sometimes tragic but preventable results.

Not all children are the same; not all diseases are the same; not all vaccines are the same and not all vaccines are safe, necessary or effective for all kids. One size does not fit all. All families deserve to be told the truth about their rights so they can make voluntary, informed vaccination decisions.

No Shots, No School, is NOT True!

A more accurate expression would be “No Shots or No Exemption, No School”.
Recommendations for vaccine use are issued by the federal government (Centers for Disease Control) but vaccine requirements and exemptions are a matter of state law and, while they vary from state to state, all 50 states have them. It is important to know your legal rights.

Medical Exemptions: all 50 states
Religious Exemptions: 47 states
Philosophical or Conscientious Belief Exemptions: 18 states, California allows all three

Source: Dawn Richardson, NVIC Director of Advocacy

Source for Texas:

I know, bringing up the topic of vaccination is not always the best way to ‘win friends and influence people’.  The conversation often turns from rational thoughts to heated emotions when differing vaccination opinions are met.  No matter what side of the fence you’re on, just know there are two sides and only the pro-vaccinate-all is ever promoted, in spite of the thousands of families that have suffered an adverse reaction from ‘mandatory’ vaccination.  It’s not about anti-vaccine; it’s about safer vaccines and the freedom for parents to choose what’s best for their child and not the State. USA is about freedom...forcing beliefs does not fit with our U.S. Constitution. My three kids have all gone through the school system having choices. We have never had a shot and have never had a problem getting into any public or private school. If you're feeling pressured and or need time to investigate to make an informed decision, check out the National Vaccine Information Center at and which highlights state law and legal vaccine exemptions.  Remember, knowledge is power.

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