On April 28, 2021, Governor Lamont signed into law Public Act 21-6, An Act Concerning Immunizations, which took effect the same day. As we discussed in our prior post, the new law eliminates the religious exemption from school immunization requirements for both public and private school students, although certain students will be allowed to continue to assert a religious exemption from statutory immunization requirements under the law’s legacy clauses.
On May 25, 2021, the Connecticut State Department of Education issued Guidance Regarding Public Act 21-6. The guidance clarifies some important issues regarding the new law, such as
- whether the new legislation concerns the COVID-19 vaccine;
- what it means for a student to be “enrolled” in school on or before April 28, 2021;
- whether there are any additional requirements for students who are advancing from sixth to seventh grade; and
- how the new law applies to students who had a valid religious exemption from a prior school year but withdrew from school as a result of the pandemic (or for other reasons), and who now wish to exercise that same exemption upon their return to school.
In light of the new guidance, Connecticut schools should be prepared to field additional questions from parents and guardians about a variety of issues regarding the interpretation and application of Public Act 21-6. If you have questions about the new law and guidance, please contact Jessica Richman Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org; Julie Fay at email@example.com; Dori Pagé Antonetti at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Sarah Gleason at email@example.com.