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Shana’s Vaccination Exemption Letter

I’m always asked how to deal with the schools. Parents tell me, “If I don’t get my child vaccinated, she won’t be able to attend school.” Most states have exemptions written into their vaccination law! Below is an example of the Pennsylvania law and the exemptions that most people seem to be unaware of. You can be sure it’s the same in your state. Do a Google search for “Vaccination exemptions for [your state]”.

Recently, when asked by a parent how to legally avoid vaccinations, I was reminded of Shana’s exemption letter that was requested by her University. I think everyone would benefit by reading it. (I deleted private, irrelevant information, like names and addresses.)  

People think that to get an exemption you have to hire a lawyer.  No, that is not necessary!  Here’s what you do.  On the medical form from the school, on the vaccination page, draw a line through it and write “EXEMPT: see attached sheet”.  The attached sheet should be a letter from you stating the following (use your own words):

“To whom it may concern: We, the parents of _________ object to vaccinations based on religious and/or philosophical grounds as per the following exemption provided in the Vaccination Law of the state of ______________ which states, and I quote: [quote the law, you can find it online by doing a search].  The law does not require us to explain or justify our beliefs, but rather simply to state our objection and on what grounds, which we are hereby doing, in compliance with the law.  Respectfully, _____________”  

Now, have your letter notarized.  Any auto-tag store will notarize for a small fee of roughly $5.00.  You will need a form of identification like a driver’s license.   Try to have more than one original made.  Then make copies.  This is what you attach every time you are asked by the school to hand in the “medical form”.  Of course, all other parts of the medical form can be filled in by the child’s doctor.

When the child is 18, the vaccination letter for college will have to be written over again accordingly.  Remember: line through Vaccination page, write EXEMPT (see attached sheet).  Attach notarized letter. 

Here then is Shana’s Vaccination Exemption Letter written one year ago. (Shana is shown above at her high school graduation. That’s me standing next to her, looking exhausted!) — Elaine Lewis



College Health Administrative Services

Medical Records Manager

June 14, 2011

Re: Philosophical or Religious Objections to Immunizations

Dear Ms. __________:

This letter is in reference to the following Pennsylvania law:

28 Pa. Code. § 23.84 (2007)

§ 23.84. Exemption from immunization.

(a) Medical exemption. Children need not be immunized if a physician or the physician’s designee provides a written statement that immunization may be detrimental to the health of the child. When the physician determines that immunization is no longer detrimental to the health of the child, the child shall be immunized according to this subchapter.

(b) Religious exemption. Children need not be immunized if the parent, guardian or emancipated child objects in writing to the immunization on religious grounds or on the basis of a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief.

As per exemption (b) above, I, Shana D. Lewis, decline to be vaccinated based on a deeply held philosophical, moral and ethical conviction as I shall describe as instructed in your letter which stated: “The request should indicate how long and deeply the person has been guided by these principles. Other reasons also should be briefly explained.”

All my life I have received ONLY natural medicine, no drugs whatsoever except for the Hepatitis B vaccine which I received the day after I was born. My mother says she regrets giving permission for that now; but, she had no way of knowing at the time that the only way a person can contract Hepatitis B is through unprotected sex and needle-sharing! Obviously, the vaccination was all risk and no benefit! The same is true for the polio vaccine. According to Jonas Salk himself, all cases of polio since 1961 have been caused by the oral polio vaccine (Washington Post, September 24, 1976). Again, all risk, no benefit!

All my life, I have eaten food that is mostly all natural/organic. We rarely buy packaged food, mostly everything we eat is made from scratch. We shop at either Whole Foods or the farmer’s market. We do not shop at regular supermarkets. We buy household products that are friendly to the environment. We wear cotton clothing, no synthetic fibers. We try to avoid buying from companies that abuse animals.

There is a lot of animal abuse in the making of vaccines. The viruses used to make the vaccines are grown on animal tissue. This is not only bad for the animals (because they are sacrificed) but the vaccine inevitably picks up animal viruses (simian viruses, bovine viruses, etc.) in the process and transfers them to humans. It is not normal or natural to have the cells and viruses of other species in your bloodstream.

My mother is a homeopath. Homeopathy is a kind of “alternative medicine” founded by Samuel Hahnemann, M.D. in Germany in 1810 and widely practiced in Europe and India. Homeopathic remedies are safe and effective and available in health food stores and Whole Foods Market as well as certain drugstores like Rite Aid. When I am sick, I get a homeopathic remedy. I have never had an antibiotic, an Advil nor even an aspirin in my life. The only times I’ve ever needed to see a doctor, the doctor I saw was a homeopath. Other times, I’ve seen a Reiki practitioner with the same good results.

I actually had what we think were the measles when I was 2 or 3 years old. As soon as my mother saw the rash, she gave me a homeopathic remedy and before she even had a chance to call the doctor to make an appointment to get a diagnosis, the rash was gone! It was gone the next day!

Dr. Mehmet Oz, cardiac surgeon, Vice Chairman of Surgery at Columbia University and frequent guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show, tells his show audience that his wife takes care of their children with homeopathic remedies before even telling him that they’re sick! (http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/Alternative-Pain-Treatments-Pt-1) This method of treatment is going mainstream fast.

We eat no junk food at our house.

People accept vaccines on faith. They don’t know what’s in them and don’t care. It might surprise most people to know that there’s mercury in the vaccines (there is no level of mercury that is considered safe); plus, MSG, formaldehyde, aluminum, calf serum, animal viruses, aborted human fetal tissue, polysorbate 80 and other questionable ingredients. (http://www.vaccine-tlc.org/) I think people imagine that vaccines are sterile; but, you cannot grow viruses in a sterile environment!

There are those who would argue that we shouldn’t care what’s in the vaccines so long as they do the job. Actually, there has never been a single large-scale double blind study to determine if vaccines are either safe or effective! ) There has not been a single study where half the group was unvaccinated and the other half received all the vaccinations required and then both groups were followed for years and compared for the status of their health.  There has never been a study where a group was vaccinated, then exposed to the disease it was inoculated against to see if the vaccine protected them.  This has never been done; so, there is actually no proof that this practice is either safe or “does the job”.

On the other hand, there is plenty of speculation that the skyrocketing rate of autism (roughly 1 in 50 children) is being caused by vaccinations. Here’s an interesting quote for you:

Significantly, the first cases of autism were described in the US shortly after the vaccines for whooping cough were introduced in the 1940s.
Dispatches From the War Zone of Environmental Healthby Helke Ferrie

“But the epidemic diseases are gone, so, obviously, vaccinations work,” some say. Here’s the fallacy of that argument:

1. Measles: not gone, Whooping Cough: not gone, German Measles: not gone, Influenza: not gone, Chickenpox: not gone…. If vaccines work so well, then why are these diseases still here?

2. If the absence of disease is proof that vaccinations work, then how is it that the plague, scarlet fever, the Spanish flu and other such diseases disappeared without a vaccination program? Why did Polio disappear in European countries that had no mass vaccination program?

I have no cavities, no allergies, never had acne; in fact, I have no medical conditions whatsoever. (See my recently-submitted physical exam.) I will stack my good health up against any fully vaccinated person my age. Common sense would suggest that I should just keep doing what I’m doing and not change anything since it’s working so well.

According to Pennsylvania law, all I have to do to exempt myself from immunizations is state my opposition in writing on moral and ethical grounds, which I believe I have done; but, you asked for more so I am trying to comply. I could go on, but I feel I have adequately shown that refusing vaccinations fits in with my overall lifestyle of respecting my body, respecting the environment and respecting animals.

Thank you.


Shana D. Lewis