• Alan Phillips JD
    Greetings! I'm the nation's only attorney who practices in all of the exemption areas, and whose entire practice is focused on vaccine exemptions and vaccine legislative activism. I've worked with clients, attorneys, legislators and activists nationally concerning vaccines required at birth; for daycare, school and college enrollment; as a condition of employment; for military members, families and civilian contractors; for immigrants, including refugees and foreign-adopted children; for children of parents in child custody disputes; for international travel; and various sub-categories or most of these broader contexts. I'm happy to answer questions here about exemptions in any of these areas. I can't give legal advice here, but am happy to address questions otherwise when I can. Alan Phillips, JD, www.vaccinerights.com
  • Ash
    I love your radio show (wish it were still on podcasts), I've already learned a lot from you, thank you so much for all you do to help! (Live in VA and just submitted my first religious waivers to daycare and got some pushback/annoyance but otherwise seems ok...). Praying daily (and calling state reps) that we won't lose that right.
    One question I have is what if the grumpy germophobic (seriously, she gives demos on how germs spread by throwing baby powder around, which is carcinogenic btw, when every child in there has a snotty nose or a stomach bug, but that's ok because they're not "vaccine-preventable"... yet) daycare director suddenly decided they were "full" and could no longer fit my part-time unvaccinated child... would my only recourse be to sue for discrimination?
  • Shena McLelland
    Hi Alan, thank you for your post. I live in Scotland and one of my kids has just arrived (a month ago) at an east coast uni on a sports scholarship. Our family doctor has given her an exemption initially based on recent illness but the uni are insisting on titer results and her being fully vaccinated by January 1 2018. I have a very strong and quite legal letter which a doctor from the west coast kindly gave me to use giving her total exemption and warning the uni not to discriminate against her on this or remove her scholarship etc and I am nervous as to whether to use it. He says it works but would appreciate some general guidance. Am willing to share to letter.
  • Alan Phillips JD
    Thanks Ash. Nat News reformatted in a manner I could not work with, but my shows are uploaded to the YouTube Vaccine Rights Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9F4ptzf85Zl2mTskvJV3Aw

    Regarding private daycares and schools generally, and similarly, private employers, these institutions can accept or reject anyone they want to, for no reason (and many employers can fire a employee anytime they want to for no reason). However, what they sometimes misunderstand, as do some attorneys as well, is that they can't reject someone (or, in the case of employers, refuse to hire or fire someone) for an *unlawful* reason. There are layers to the legal analysis. For starters, we usually have Constitutional rights with governments, and not private entities, but there's an exception that applies where vaccines are concerned because of the "substantial ties" (as the law sometimes refers to it) between the private entities and government where vaccines are concerned. Vaccines are regulated by govt, mandated by govt, subsidized by govt, purchased by govt, and we wouldn't even have vaxxes at all were it not for the NVICP and the 2011 Bruesewitz US Sup Court case that virtually eliminated liability to keep the vax industry from going out of business...so, we arguably *do* have Constitutional rights with private entities where vaccines are concerned. So, if someone refuses to admit a child because the child is unvaccinated, and if the child is lawfully unvaccinated; or if an employer fires an employee with religious objections to vaccines; they may be violating the parents 1st Amendment rights (religious freedom) and 14th Amendment rights (right to parent your child, which includes medical decisions), and the employee's First Amendment (religious freedom) rights.

    What you can *do* about it, however, is a different question. How many parents will sue a daycare or school to force them to admit their child? Would you want your child going there if you did that and won? Also, courts tend to rule in favor of vaccines regardless of what the law says--they don't want to be responsible for an unvaccinated child dying of measles, etc. So, you can have the law on your side but still be stuck, as a practical matter--either lose your case when you should have won, or win your case but still not be willing to put your kid in that particular private school or daycare.

    Employees, where religious objections are concerned, can go to the EEOC for no cost if they feel their employer has discriminated against them (wrongfully refused their religious exemption request). It can take some time for the process to play out, but you can't beat the cost compared to hiring an attorney to file a lawsuit.
  • Alan Phillips JD
    Vaccines for international travel, generally, are determined by the WHO's International Health Regulations, which require only yellow fever vaccines going in and out of sub-Saharan Africa and tropical S. America, polio for Pakistan, meningitis for the Hajj in Saudi Arabia. But when we stay for any extended period of time (and perhaps even with short stops as well), we're subject to the laws of whatever country we're in. If your son is from Scotland on an extended stay in the U.S., his vaccination requirements and exemption options would probably be dictated by the state he's in here in the U.S. You could email me privately for potential further discussion,
  • Brianna
    How can I get a medical exception in California ?
  • Alan Phillips JD
    Medical exemption for what--vaccines that are required for school, daycare, college, employment, military, immigration...? Daycare, school and college vaccine requirements and exemptions are all at the state level, because the federal govt doesn't have authority to mandate vaccines for state residents. But military and immigration exemptions and procedures are spelled out in federal regulations, for example. In some situations, there may not be any exemption laws at all. For example, only 3 states offer religious exemptions for healthcare workers (ME also offers a philosophical one), so there isn't an exemption per se for other states. But, federal civil rights law provides an "out" for most employees on religious grounds. However, it's not a vaccine exemption law, it's a broader anti-religious-discrimination law that could apply to any number of conflicts an employee's religious beliefs and practices may present to an employer's requirements. So, the procedure is not as straightforward as ones for getting a school or daycare exemption. What I observe after working with 100's of healthcare workers nationally is that most hospital employers are deferring to CDC recommended contraindications for their medical exemption policies, but that's not necessarily a hard law or line. What qualifies for a medical exemption legally in that situation may not be completely clear. But for school and daycare exemptions, start by reading your state's statutes and state health department regulations, and the first instruction is simple regarding procedure for any exemption: do exactly what the law says--nothing more, nothing less. With school/daycare medical exemptions generally, you have to start by finding a medical doctor (or other qualified person; at least 2 states allow ND's to grant medical exemptions for school and daycare) who is willing to grant an exemption provided you meet your state's requirements, and then you have to qualify according to what the law requires. My understand is that there are a few or more MD's in CA who have granted medical exemptions, but it may be best to get a recommendation from someone. <see Larry's post above>
  • Stephanie
    Alan- I listen to your show when I can and LOVE IT!!!!! Great topics! Your website as well is informative with current events!!!
  • Ash
    Old thread but I'll try-
    Alan, (or anyone else with this experience) what do you recommend when a doctors' office has started making parents sign a waiver saying they're declining vaccines? I haven't read it yet but saw on fb that our practice has started doing that and we have an appointment this week for unvax 2 year old. We chose this doctor and this practice from online recommendations for unvax-friendly doctors so now I am disappointed they're pulling a CYA or whatever is making them do this (last year the doctor had been less friendly about it and even tried to throw around some guilt about pertussis spreading from unvax kids to infants, wish I'd had that baboon study to show him, but he mentioned their insurance whatever that means may be making them do waivers for everyone refusing vaccines. The mom in fb group said the waiver was critical of the refusing parents so she chose to leave the practice rather than to sign.
    What are my options and what sort of wording would be ok to sign? How could such a waiver be used against a parent? Could I write out my own neutral statement and give them that instead? Have you heard of that working for anyone else? Could you give me an example of such a statement?
  • Ellen S.
    Do not sign!!! Find a different doctor. And I highly suspect the insurance thing is a lie. I'd personally challenge them on that by asking who their insurance company is and where is it in writing that they're telling the practice to get waivers. I don't buy it and wouldn't trust anybody practicing that way to treat me or my child for anything.
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