This page does not include any “Emergency” orders, requirements, or mandates by any WA government official at the state, city, or county level. Governor Inslee lifted the COVID-19 State of Emergency on October 31, 2022.
- For children in WA State, current law requires certain vaccines for attendance at LICENSED DAYCARE, PRESCHOOL, and KINDERGARTEN THROUGH GRADE TWELVE.
- WA State has no vaccination requirements for children outside of DAYCARE and SCHOOL setting. For each child, you should fill out either a Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) or Certificate of Exemption (COE). Homeschooled children are not required to submit these forms. Homeschool parents may be requested to submit these forms by schools if your child is involved in other school-related activities.
- WA State Law includes Medical and Religious Exemptions to the MMR, and Medical, Religious, and Personal Exemptions to all other mandated shots.
- Everyone qualifies for a religious exemption in the United States because its based on your personal religious beliefs.
- See our Religious Exemptions Clarified page.
- The law requires parents filing Medical, Religious, and Personal Exemptions show proof (via a signature on the Certificate of Exemption (COE) or a practitioner signed letter stating) that they have consulted with a practitioner about the risks and benefits of vaccination.
- Having difficulty obtaining a signature on the exemption form?
Sadly, many doctors do not know the law or resist it by expressing hesitancy to sign. Here are two suggestions on overcome barriers.
- ICWA provides a free Risk-Benefit Consultation Referral Service to help parents find a practitioner to provide a consultation and signature.
- FROM THE DEPT. OF HEALTH – Immunization Exemptions Toolkit for Health Care Practitioners (Aug-2023) It is recommended to share this comprehensive reference (and video) with your doctor if they are ‘hesitant’ to sign an exemption form, reminding them of your rights and their responsibilities under WA State law.
WA STATE LAW
The Legislature Passes Bills that become Law under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW). Here are the RCW’s pertaining to the Immunization Program. Note that the legislature did not name specific vaccines, they gave that authority to the Board of Health. See WA BOARD OF HEALTH RULES below.
|Immunization program—Attendance of child conditioned upon presentation of alternative proofs—Information regarding meningococcal disease—Information regarding human papillomavirus disease.
|Immunization program—Source of immunizations—Written records.
|Immunization program—Administrator’s duties upon receipt of proof of immunization or certification of exemption.
|Immunization program—Prohibiting child’s presence—Notice to parent, guardian, or adult in loco parentis.
|Immunization program—Superintendent of public instruction to provide information.
|Immunization program—State board of health rules, contents.
|Immunization program—Superintendent of public instruction by rule to adopt procedures for verifying records.
|Immunization program—Department of social and health services’ rules, contents.
WA BOARD OF HEALTH RULES
Once the legislature passes a law (RCW), authorized agencies write rules to implement the law. These rules are called the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). Agencies are not allowed to write new laws, they can only write rules that implement the law. Once WACs are adopted, they have the force of the law upon which they are authorized.
IMMUNIZATION OF CHILD CARE AND SCHOOL CHILDREN AGAINST CERTAIN VACCINE-PREVENTABLE DISEASES
|Vaccine-preventable diseases children must be protected against for full immunization.
|Requirements based on national immunization guidelines.
|Required documentation of immunization status.
|Philosophical and personal exemption for measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine prohibited.
|Duties of schools and child care centers.
|Duties of health care providers or organizations.
|Criteria for excluding children from schools or child care centers.
STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH INFORMATION & FORMS
The Department of Health (DOH) is tasked with a wide range of duties regarding immunization-related RCWs and WACs. Beyond what is required by law, the DOH spends significant federal and state resources marketing vaccination.