Maine Vaccine Exemption Law Change 2019
Public Law, Ch. 154 (introduced as LD798): An Act to Protect Maine Children and Students from Preventable Disease by Repealing Certain Exemptions from the Laws Governing Immunization Requirements was signed by Governor Janet Mills on May 24, 2019. This new law, which takes effect September 1, 2021, requires changes to the following Maine Rules:
- 10-148 CMR Chapter 32 - Rules for the Licensing of Child Care Facilities (OCFS Rule)
- 10-144 CMR Chapter 33 - Family Childcare Provider Licensing Rule (OCFS Rule)
- 10-148 CMR Chapter 36 - Rules for the Licensing of Nursery Schools (OCFS Rule)
- 05-071 Chapter 126 and 10-144 Chapter 261 - Immunization Requirements for School Children (DOE and Maine CDC Joint Rule)
- 10-144 Chapter 262 - Rules and Regulations Post-secondary School Immunizations Required (Maine CDC Rule)
- 10-144 Chapter 264 - Immunization Requirements for Healthcare Workers (Maine CDC Rule)
Law Change Quick Facts
The Maine Immunization Program (MIP) and the Maine Department of Education (DOE) have received several questions about the impact of this recent law:
- Changes to the above rules will not take effect until September 1, 2021.
- MIP and DOE will be working closely with subject matter experts from childcare facilities, schools, post-secondary institutions, healthcare facilities, the Attorney General’s office, and the Department’s Office of Child and Family Services to make language changes to the above rules.
- This rulemaking process is expected to last at least 90 days. For Maine CDC rule updates, please access www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/rules/. If you would like to be designated as an interested party with respect to Maine CDC rule changes and receive updates, please contact Elaine Lovejoy at 287-3266 at the Maine CDC.
- Medical exemptions should be sought from the patient’s primary care provider. MIP cannot grant medical exemptions.
Information for School Staff and Healthcare Workers
MIP and DOE will provide information as soon as it becomes available, including letters, forms, and FAQ guidance for distribution. If parents, students or employees ask questions, please refer them to this page.
MIP and DOE are continuing to work on language changes, and this process is expected to last several months. Any additional questions may be forwarded to ImmunizeME.DHHS@Maine.gov.