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Immunizations

New Mexico law requires that all students be immunized against certain communicable 
diseases. These requirements are determined by the NM Department of Health (NMDOH) in 
collaboration with the NM Vaccine Advisory Committee using recommendations from the 
national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The State’s official 
immunization requirements for schools and childcare facilities are released annually and can be 
accessed at http://immunizenm.org/schoolreq.shtml

Exemptions

The New Mexico Immunization Exemption Statute (24-5-3) allows only two types of exemptions for children seeking exemption from required immunizations to enter school, childcare or pre-school. The two exemptions are medical or religious. If there is a medical reason for exempting from immunization, a signed document must be obtained from a duly-licensed physician (MD or DO) attesting that the required immunization(s) would endanger the life of the child. Said document must accompany the completed, notarized, original exemption form. If there is a religious reason for exempting from immunization, the child’s parent/guardian must: a) ask an officer of the church to write a letter on their behalf stating that they are a member of the church, and the church uses prayer or spiritual means alone for healing; or if access to a church officer is not possible, then the child’s parent/guardian must b) check the box on the exemption certifying that there are religious reasons for requesting to have a child exempted from immunization. 

The law does not grant immunization exemptions for philosophical or personal reasons.

Once a completed, notarized, original Certificate of Exemption Form is filed with the Department of Health, the Department has up to sixty days to notify the parent/guardian if the request is approved or denied. If approved, the parent/guardian will receive two copies of the original form with a clear “Approved” box checked, a signature from an officer of the Department, and an expiration date. The parent/guardian must take the Approved form to the child’s school. If denied, the parent/guardian will receive a letter from the Department of Health explaining that the request is denied, and that the parent/guardian has the right to file an appeal with the Immunization Program Manager. A process for appeal will also be included.