Georgia Coalition for Vaccine Choice
Preserving the rights of Georgians to vaccinate themselves and their children as they choose
The Georgia Newborn Screening (NBS) Program is a six-part preventive health care system designed to identify and provide early treatment for 31 selected inherited disorders that otherwise would cause significant morbidity or death. O.C.G.A. 31-12-6 The requirements of this Code section with regard to screening, retrieval, and diagnosis shall not apply to any infant whose parents object in writing thereto on the grounds that such tests and treatment conflict with their religious tenets and practices. Read more about what newborn screening is here.
Georgia law allows for two types of exemptions from the immunization requirements: medical and religious. Each child must have one of two items on file - either a valid Georgia Immunization Certificate (Form 3231) or a signed, notarized statement, which is called an affidavit of religious exemption (DPH 2208). Schools and Childcare
For a child to be exempt from immunizations on religious grounds, the parent or guardian must furnish the school/facility with a notarized affidavit stating that immunization conflicts with his or her religious beliefs. Recently, the Department of Health has required a specific form in place of the personal affidavit, DPH 2208. The form may not be altered and must be signed and notarized.
Medical exemptions are also available in Georgia but can be hard to acquire. Exemptions must be updated annually by a qualified physician. Reasons for medical exemptions can include previous adverse reactions to vaccine ingredients, autoimmune disease, or established immunity from a vaccine preventable disease through titer testing. Exemptions must be signed off on using Form 3231.
The Georgia Immunization Registry is designed to collect and maintain accurate, complete and current vaccination records to promote effective and cost-efficient disease prevention and control.The GRITS immunization information system allows for a child’s history to be stored in a secure database. Doctors' offices, clinics, schools and child- care facilities enrolled as GRITS providers can access a child's vaccination history quickly and easily.