Maine Vaccine Exemption Law Change 2021
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 have worked 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.
- 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 visit: Maine Department of Health & Human Services (govdelivery.com) to become a subscriber.
- Medical exemptions should be sought from the patient’s primary care provider. MIP cannot grant medical exemptions.
Updates to Daycare, School & Healthcare Worker Immunization Laws
For any questions related to the daycare immunization law, please reach out to the Office of Child and Family Services. You may email either Pattie Collins (Pattie.Collins@maine.gov) or Jennifer Welch (Jennifer.S.Welch@maine.gov).
On July 7, the comment period for the Proposed Rule Immunization Requirements for School Children (ch. 261/126) was posted with a deadline of August 5, 2021. A virtual public hearing took place on July 26. For more information, please see the Notice of Rulemaking Notice of Rulemaking, which provides additional details regarding this rulemaking, including public hearing information.
The post-secondary school law has been updated and is located here (PDF)
Health Care Workers
The health care immunization law has removed the allowance for philosophical and religious exemptions and has included influenza and COVID-19 vaccine as required immunizations.
For questions regarding the immunization law for school children, please reach out to the Department of Education – Emily Poland – Emily.Poland@Maine.gov.
Any questions regarding getting your child caught up with required immunizations or immunizations in general, please email: ImmunizeME.DHHS@Maine.gov.