Empowering Change: How Your Advocacy Changed The Oklahoma Exemption Form!

Did The Oklahoma State Department of Health hide the exemption form and purposely make it harder to fill out since exemption rates are increasing? OKHPR worked with the Governor and Health Department’s Chief of Staff to get it fixed!

The Oklahoma vaccine exemption process has changed again, this time FOR GOOD!

A few weeks ago OKHPR was made aware that the former link to find vaccine exemptions on the State Department of Health website was now gone. We made sure a copy was available on our website and then got to work to find out what was going on.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) made a number of changes to the vaccine exemption form. The biggest change was that instead of a parent turning in the exemption form into their school and then the school sending this form to the State Department of Health, parents were being told to send this form themselves to the State Department of Health who will then send it to the schools after it had been approved or denied.

This was creating obstacles for parents to turn in their exemption form and a backlog of exemptions at the Immunization Department.

OKHPR was able to make several changes to the exemption process:

  • The exemption form is now available on the OSDH website.
  • The completed exemption form may be turned in by the parent to either the school OR the Immunization Department of OSDH
  • The OSDH website now explicitly states that the child is allowed to attend school while the exemption is being processed by OSDH.
  • The exemption form no longer uses the words “denied”. Exemption forms may be returned to the school if completed incorrectly, but no child will be denied an exemption. The child may continue to attend school while the new exemption is being filled out.

Check out the newly updated exemption form here!

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