No shots, no school? Not true.

Michigan allows for medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions from vaccines in daycare and preschool through 12th grade. You can learn how to obtain a school waiver below.

Did you know?

The flu and HPV vaccines are not mandatory for Michigan students, and do not require a vaccine waiver.


Language in school communications may make it seem like these shots are required, but they are not. If you have a concern, inform your school administrators and ask them to make it clear these vaccines are optional.


How do I obtain a certified waiver?

To obtain a waiver from the health department, call your health department in the county of your school district to schedule a vaccine waiver education session. Only one parent or legal guardian need to attend.
When making your appointment, you are not required to provide:
  • Your doctor's name 
  • Your insurance information
  • Your reason for wanting the waiver prior to attending the session
  • You are also not required to bring your child(ren) to a waiver session

Can I use an alternative waiver?

While most parents have contacted their local health department to obtain the certified waiver, others have used their own statement.

If you use the MVC exemption statement, please review Attorney Alan Phillip’s legal analysis.

What is a waiver session at the health department like?

The health department nurse will cover the benefits of vaccines. MVC members who have attended a session reported that they did not receive information about vaccine risks, adverse reactions or how to report them.

Afterward, you will be asked for your reasoning for obtaining a waiver. Acceptable reasons are religious and philosophical. It's not necessary to elaborate; you can state, "Vaccines go against my deeply held beliefs." 

At the end of the session, you may be asked if you'd like to receive any vaccines from the health department nurse. You have the right to accept or decline their offer. 

How often do I need to attend a waiver session?

A vaccine waiver is needed for:

  • Each year of daycare (receiving state-funding) starting at infancy

  • Preschool

  • Kindergarten, 7th grade, and any newly enrolled student in a school district

What if my child has immunity?

If your child has already had an illness and gained natural immunity as a result, you will still need to obtain a vaccine waiver if you choose to skip the vaccine targeting that illness. 

For a current list of vaccine doses required for entry into public and non-public schools in Michigan, please check the Health department website.

Who keeps the original copy?

You keep the original waiver, and provide a copy of the waiver to the daycare or school your child is attending. This is also stated on the bottom of the waiver form. 

I would like to share my waiver session experience with MVC.

We would love to hear about your experience whether it was positive, neutral, or negative. Please complete this secure, members-only form: Waiver Session Feedback Form 

If you are not yet a MVC member, please join today. We offer both free and paid memberships.


Are schools committing a FERPA violation by sharing the personal health information of their students? 

According to Federal FERPA privacy law, a child’s immunization records and waiver/exemption statements are part of their education record. As a result, they are subject to FERPA protection and cannot be released to third parties such as the local and state health departments without explicit, affirmative, parental consent.

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Michigan for Vaccine Choice is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing educational information about the subject of vaccinations, while protecting and supporting individuals and parents to make vaccine decisions in Michigan.

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