by National Vaccine Information Center

Action Needed By December 31, 2015 for Personal Belief and Religious Exemptions to be Grandfathered

Dear California NVIC Advocacy Members,

SB 277 – the bill eliminating all nonmedical exemptions for the 10 vaccines currently required before a child can attend public or private school, preschool or daycare – was signed by Governor Brown on June 30, 2015 and goes into effect on July 1, 2016.

However, what everyone in California who is planning on using a personal or religious belief exemption needs to know to take advantage of the grandfathering of these exemptions beyond July 1st and until the next grade span (preschool, kindergarten inclusive and including transitional kindergarten, or 7th grade), you MUST have an exemption on file at your school or day care by December 31, 2015!  For those programs with a winter holiday, the deadline may be even sooner with offices closed.



  1. Make sure your exemption is on file with your school or day care by the closing of school or day care for winter break and no later than December 31st!
  2. Make sure you personally retain a copy of that exemption on file showing the date it was received by the school and signed by an authorized staff member acknowledging receipt. (This is not required by law but advised to protect your child in case the form becomes misplaced or lost at school then you have proof they have it.)

Exemption forms are available here – English | Spanish | Arabic | Armenian | Cambodian | Chinese | Farsi | Hmong | Japanese | Korean  |Russian | Tagalog | Vietnamese



  • Children starting daycare, preschool, kindergarten or entering the 7th grade before the effective date of July 1, 2016 (year round school spring entry sessions) need to include the personal or religious belief exemption in the enrollment package and file with the entering daycare, preschool or school before January 1, 2016. 
  • The following types of health care practitioners are authorized by law to sign personal belief exemption documentation if they are licensed or credentialed in California: Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Nurse practitioner (NP) authorized to furnish drugs,  Physician assistant (PA) authorized to administer or provide medication, Naturopathic doctor authorized to furnish or order drugs under a physician and surgeon’s supervision, or a Credentialed school nurse (a Preliminary or Clear credential from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing).
  • Schools are required to accept all personal or religious belief exemptions received through December 31, 2015. 
  • Personal and religious belief exemptions are transferable within the state. 
  • Religious Exemptions only require a parent/guardian signature.    
  • SB 277 Does Not Apply To:
      • Students in home-based private schools
      • Students enrolled in an independent study program who do not receive classroom-based instruction
      • Access to special education and related services specified in an individualized education program. NOTE: File a personal or religious belief exemption with the school and include a copy in the IEP.
    • Parents have the option of submitting a letter stating beliefs opposed to immunization attached to the PBE form.
    • SB-277 Public health: vaccinations SEC. 2. 120335.

      (g) (1) A pupil who, prior to January 12016, submitted a letter or affidavit on file at a private or public elementary or secondary school, child day care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center stating beliefs opposed to immunization shall be allowed enrollment to any private or public elementary or secondary school, child day care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center within the state until the pupil enrolls in the next grade span.

      (2) For purposes of this subdivision, “grade span” means each of the following:

      (A) Birth to preschool.

      (B) Kindergarten and grades 1 to 6, inclusive, including transitional kindergarten.

      (C) Grades 7 to 12, inclusive.


Source:  NVIC.org