What is an Immunization Waiver?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2019
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An immunization waiver is an exception made to normal immunization requirements. These waivers may be granted by school systems, daycare centers, summer camps, and employers that typically require enrollees or workers to meet standard immunization requirements. In many cases, parents must request immunization waivers for children they do not intend to have immunized or adults may request these waivers themselves. In other cases, however, an authority at a school or other organization may provide an automatic waiver.

When a person receives an immunization waiver, he is not held to a school's or organization's immunization requirements. For example, if every kindergartner in a particular school is required to be immunized against the measles, an immunization waiver will release a student from this requirement. In such a case, the child will not have to get the vaccination and will not be excluded from the school environment. Immunization waivers are not only granted for small children, however. They may be granted whenever a person in a position of authority waives another person’s mandatory immunization.


Many schools and similar organizations have minimum immunization requirements that enrolled students, participants, and workers have to meet. For example, a company that has a lot of public contact may maintain a list of immunizations employees must have. These immunizations are typically given to prevent the recipient from contracting diseases, some of which can be crippling or life threatening. They also help prevent the spread of illness among individuals who have not been immunized. In some cases, however, an individual, or those who are responsible for him, may object to the immunization requirements and obtain a waiver.

An immunization waiver may be granted for a variety of reasons. For example, it may be granted because a person or his parents have religious or moral objections to a particular vaccination or all vaccinations in general. In other cases, a person may request a waiver because a medical condition makes it dangerous for him to be immunized. Additionally, some temporary immunization waivers may be granted because the immunization requirements create some type of hardship for the person.

Sometimes a person in authority may extend an immunization waiver that automatically waives immunization requirements for a particular group of people. For example, if a large number of children have been displaced from their homes because of a tragedy or disaster, a school system may waive the immunization requirements for all of the children who have been displaced. Often, these waivers are temporary and are revoked once rescue and recovery efforts end.


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