TFVC is aware of several issues with vaccine exemptions that have arisen in light of the declared C0v1d emergency. It is our hope that this page serves as a resource to help you get real answers to these unique situations. Please see our Exemption FAQ page for general exemption questions.
Schools/ISDs Sending Out Coercive Emails
Ominous sounding emails from schools declaring exemptions will not be accepted are nothing new to TFVC, but the examples we have seen this fall have taken the coercive language to a whole new level.
Much of the confusion seems to be stemming from a “waiver” that the health department allowed during school closures in the spring whereby school districts were allowed to keep students who missed shot visits, and therefore were no longer in compliance with school vaccine requirements, enrolled during the closures.
In other words, schools, with the guidance from the health department, allowed non-up-to-date students who ALSO did not have exemptions on file to continue online learning since students were missing their regularly scheduled shot visits.
In their emails, schools are conflating the words “waiver” and “exemption” but they are really stating that the above exception will not be an option next year. Schools still need all vaccine-related paperwork (that includes exemptions) to be in order for the start of the fall semester, regardless of your choice of in-person or virtual instructions.
These emails really do not pertain to students using exemption affidavits at all and create so much unneeded confusion and panic. Just turn in your exemptions and carry on.
Colleges Not Accepting Exemptions for the Bacterial Meningitis Vaccine
TFVC is sad to report that more Texas colleges are ignoring the legislative intent and historical application of the exclusion statute for students with exemptions. Concordia University and Texas State Technical College are both now refusing enrollment to students using an exemption affidavit for the bacterial meningitis vaccine because of the C0v1d emergency.
You may recall that Kilgore College attempted the same thing in June. When TFVC brought their misapplication of the law to light, they quickly reversed course after discussions with the state about their exclusion policy.
We are disappointed yet again that institutions of higher learning fail to see the absurdity in denying enrollment of students who have chosen not to get a bacterial meningitis vaccine under the justification that we are experiencing an outbreak of another disease entirely, one for which there is not yet even a vaccine.
Please see our Action Alert about this egregious and unscientific policy. Additionally, if your college is also attempting the same thing, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 17, 2020 Update:
TFVC is pleased to announce that TSTC has clarified their policy and is accepting exemptions in line with the historical application of the law.
Student Health Pledges
TFVC does not approve with the overall coercive tone of the pledges that some ISDs and colleges are asking guardians and students to sign.
Regarding health pledges from ISDs:
TFVC is currently unaware of any law that requires guardians to turn in optional forms to schools.
Regarding health pledges from colleges that include language about promises to obtain a flu shot:
TFVC’s legal counsel has advised us that by submitting these pledges, students are not entering into legally binding contracts.
If you have concerns beyond the above, please contact your own legal counsel on the best way for you to move forward with your enrollment process.
As always, please keep TFVC informed of any consequences you experience for non-compliance.