Exemption Laws

Click on the images below to see the PA code as it relates to exemptions in the various settings.

K-12 Students
Group Child Care
Mental Health Facilities
Health Care Facilities

Exemption FAQs

What exemptions are available for students in PA?

Students in K-12 can exercise their right to vaccine exemptions based on medical, religious, or strong moral/ethical beliefs.  A small handful of private schools that receive no state funding do not accept non-medical exemptions, but most schools accept exemptions with no problem.

What exemptions are available for college students?

The PA School Code only applies to students in grades K-12. College students are protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and may express a religious objection to a school’s vaccination policy. Typically, a simple letter from the student or an attorney, outlining the students’ religious objection, submitted to the school administration, is sufficient to enable the student to attend any PA college without having to be vaccinated. More information about exercising a religious exemption can be found here. We have never heard of a PA school that will not accept medical exemptions. These must be signed by an MD or DO.

Do you think PA is in danger of losing vaccine exemption rights for students?

With a strong foundation of religious freedom and personal liberty written into our Constitution and a significant population of conservative religious communities, PA legislators understand the necessity to respect the beliefs and choices that reflect our heritage. The way that the school code is written, requirements for homeschoolers and public schoolers are the same, which does create a situation that would make the removal of exemptions very challenging for lawmakers.  

Employee Rights

 

Is your employer or school requiring you to receive a Covid-19 vaccine or submit to mandatory testing? If so, they are operating outside of the law.

As of now, no Covid-19 vaccine or vaccine-type product has received FDA approval. They have been granted Emergency Use Authorization EUA) only. These products have specific and clear Federal instructions that require consent and voluntary application only. Details are explained in this article by attorneys Greg Glaser & Mary Holland.

The Informed Consent Action Network’s (ICAN) legal team, led by Aaron Siri, is challenging employers and schools that require a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have been fired for refusing a COVID-19 vaccine, ICAN is offering to support legal action—subject to resources available—on your behalf to challenge the requirement. For assistance, email ICAN at freedom@icandecide.org with documentation of the termination conditions.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers’ right to refuse vaccinations based on religious objections. Under the PA & US Constitutions, it is unlawful for an employer to require proof of religious affiliation in order to exercise this right. Religious exemption is based on belief, not affiliation. These documents can help PA employees exercise their right to religious exemptions and to inform employers of their rights under the law:

Employee Rights – EEOC

Employee Rights EEOC – Covid-19 Specific

Steps for Exercising a Religious Exemption for in the Workplace

Military Exemption Information

For more details about employee rights, visit NVIC’s FAQ page.

Downloads: Fact Sheets & Letters

School Toolkit

Sample Moral Exemption Letter (K-12)

Sample Religious Exemption Letter (K-12)

Notice to School Officials (K-12)

Note: We do not recommend using the official PA Exemption Form provided on the PA Department of Health’s website because it requests more information about your choice than is required by law. A simple letter like the samples above is all that is required.

Exercising a Religious Exemption for College

 

Advocacy 101

 

Laws are being considered that have serious consequences for your health and freedom. Your voice has power, and this tutorial session will teach you how to use it efficiently and effectively to influence legislation to protect your rights. Pharmaceutical and medical trade lobbyists often push for what benefits their industries’ bottom line, not your health. Learn how the legislative process works in this advocacy tutorial from The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) and the simple skills and tools you can use to leverage your time to protect your freedom of choice.

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