Mainers for Health and Parental Rights (MEHPR) is a grassroots organization of parents, teachers, nurses, doctors, and concerned citizens devoted to protecting the rights of the people of Maine. We are a multi-partisan group that advocates for the protection and strengthening of informed consent, medical freedom, and parental rights in our great state.
Frequently asked questions
Why can’t my student use a religious or philosophical exemption anymore?
Maine passed a law (LD 798, Public Law Ch. 154) in the spring of 2019 removing all non-medical exemptions for students. This new law goes into effect on September 1, 2021. Click here to view the statute.
Do positive titers qualify as proof of immunity if my child doesn’t have all required doses of immunizations? My doctor has told me they are not willing to order a titer test and/or that they are not valid for all diseases.
Yes, if a student has proof of
sufficient immunity to a disease via blood titer testing, that will satisfy the
requirement for immunity for school attendance under the law. Additionally, the
student will not be required to stay home during any outbreak of that disease at the
How do you get titer testing?
Which shots & how many doses of each are required for my child to attend daycare? K-12 school? College?
Measles Mumps & Rubella (German Measles): Two doses of MMR vaccine, administered after the student's first birthday.
Does the law apply to private schools? Parochial? Charter? Fully online schools?
Can homeschool students participate in school sports or other extracurriculars if they don't meet the new vaccine requirements?
Maine law has always allowed homeschooled students to participate in extracurriculars and academic classes, so long as they meet the vaccination requirements of students enrolled in Maine schools. This means that, once the new law is implemented on Sept. 1, 2021, homeschooled students can no longer participate in extracurriculars unless they are fully vaccinated or have a medical exemption.
Do pre-k students abide by vaccinations required for daycare or kindergarten entry?
Does the new law affect all daycares, even small in-home daycares or unlicensed daycares?
Can students who have an IEP still use a philosophical or religious exemption?
YES. Students who have an IEP in place
prior to September 1, 2021 AND filed a religious or philosophical exemption on or
before September 1, 2021 are eligible to continue attending school with a religious
or philosophical exemption in addition to a
statement from a medical provider.
Do students with an existing IEP who are submitting a non-medical exemption need a doctor’s note that the student/parent has been counseled on the risks and benefits associated with vaccination choice?
If my child loses their IEP will their non-medical exemption be eliminated?
What about grandfathering? Will my child's non-medical exemption be grandfathered since it was on file before this law was passed?
Have any lawsuits been initiated to challenge the removal of the religious exemption?
What will happen if I send my student to school without being fully vaccinated?
We can not speak for any school administration as to the process that will occur in this situation. The rules state that unless a student is exempt, no superintendent may permit any student to be enrolled in or to attend school without a certificate of vaccination for each disease or other acceptable evidence of required immunization or immunity against each disease. How the superintendent/school enforces this will be different for each school. It is important to note that schools are authorized to accept:
- A one-time written assurance from the parent/guardian or adult student (age 18 or older) that the student will be immunized by private effort within ninety days of enrollment (officially registering) in school or of the student first attending, whichever date is the earliest.
- A medical exemption provided by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician's assistant that indicates that in that medical provider’s professional judgment, immunization is not medically advisable.
- A parent’s/guardian’s written consent for the child to be vaccinated by a public health officer, physician, nurse or other authorized person in their employ, or acting as an agent of the school, where such immunization programs are in effect.
- A philosophical or religious exemption so long as the student has, on or before September 1, 2021, an IEP and has submitted a philosophical or religious exemption to vaccination to the student’s school. Written documentation, from a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant, assuring that the parent, guardian, or adult student has received counseling on the risks and benefits of vaccination, must also be submitted to the student’s school. If a student with an IEP has a non-medical exemption for vaccination, the student will be able to maintain that exemption after dismissal from special education services and will be considered exempt until the child is no longer eligible for free, appropriate public education (FAPE).
- The student may be enrolled in a distance education program offered by a school, if the student does not physically attend any classes or programs at the school or a school facility.
Can we get non-medical exemptions back?
Are medical exemptions still allowed?
Where can I find a doctor that will write a medical exemption?
Do you have a list of doctors that will see an unvaccinated child?
What information is required on a medical exemption?
A medical exemption must contain a
statement from a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant
indicating that in that medical provider’s professional judgment, vaccination
against one or more of the diseases may be medically inadvisable. There is not a
specific form or document that is required to be submitted as a medical exemption.
For your convenience we have a sample form here
(based on a draft previously made available on the Maine DOE website until it was
removed in late March of 2021) that may be used, copied, or altered as desired.
Does the medical reason for exemption need to be listed on the medical exemption?
Who can write/provide a medical exemption?
A medical exemption must be provided
by any licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Under the
previous laws regarding vaccination, only a licensed physician could write a medical
Who sees a medical exemption/does it get turned into a state department or stay at my child’s school(s)?
My college/university/post-secondary school requires vaccinations that are not required by state law. What can I do?
If my child uses a religious or medical exemption for covid vaccine in college, will they be discriminated against (special dorm, wear a mask, separate transportation). Is there any legal path to fight this?
I am moving to Maine and my child is not up-to-date on vaccinations. How can I enroll them in school?
According to the draft of the proposed DOE rules, families moving into Maine or enrolling in school for the first time will have a 90-day grace period from the first date of enrollment in school to get their children caught up on vaccinations.