Measles Resource Center
Fisher Phillips is monitoring the resurgence of measles and will be updating the resource center on a regular basis. The materials on this page have been generated from Fisher Phillips attorneys and other reliable sources to address the rising concerns of employers regarding measles.
We have prepared a series of Frequently Asked Questions about measles which can be accessed here:
FAQ for Educational Institutions
FAQ for General Workplaces
March 11, 2015
After Measles Outbreak, Should Employers Require Vaccinations?
This article discusses whether or not employers should require employees to be vaccinated after the measles outbreak dies down.
February 11, 2015
Employers Can Show Concern About Measles
This article addresses the rising concerns of employers regarding the resurgence of Measles in the workplace.
February 10, 2015
Measles in the Workplace: Prevention and Privacy
This article examines how measles, a disease previously thought to have been eradicated from the U.S., has been making a comeback.
February 9, 2015
Measles Outbreak Raises Compliance Questions
This article discusses how the measles outbreak has raised concerns for employers, regarding employees in the workplace.
February 3, 2015
The Unvaccinated: Should They Be Unwelcomed at School?
This article examines how the resurgence of measles has led to a fiery debate over whether parents have a right to opt out of vaccinating their children, even if other children or classmates could be at risk.
Disease reporting enables public health follow-up for patients and helps identify outbreaks. This is particularly important to do in a timely way for any disease or condition that may require immediate public health intervention. Disease reporting also provides a better understanding of disease trends and patterns in Georgia to support program and policy decision-making and resource allocation. All Georgia physicians, laboratories, and other health care providers are required by law (OCGA 31-12-2) to report patients with the conditions listed under Notifiable Disease Reporting Requirements. Both laboratory confirmed and clinical diagnoses are reportable within the specified time interval.
Other diseases healthcare providers must report.
State of GA Guide for K – 12 Immunization
The immunization requirements apply to children who attend a school or childcare facility daily, part time or once in a while. Children attending both a school and childcare facility (including after-school programs) must have valid documentation at each location. In the event that there are two locations where documentation is needed, copies of these forms are acceptable.
- A “new entrant” is any child entering any school or childcare facility in Georgia for the first time or after having been absent for more than 12 months or one school year.
- When a new entrant enrolls, the responsible official of any school or childcare facility may grant a 30-calendar-day waiver of the certification requirement for a justified reason. Upon expiration of the waiver, the child shall not be admitted to or be permitted to attend the school or childcare facility unless a certificate of immunization is provided.
- If the child withdraws and then returns, the parent is not allowed another 30 days to provide a certificate or affidavit.
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.
- Medical exemptions are used only when a child has a medical condition that keeps him from being able to receive a specific vaccine(s), not all vaccines.
- A medical exemption must be marked on the Georgia Immunization Certificate (Form 3231). A letter from a physician, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) or physician assistant (PA) attached to the certificate will not be accepted as a medical exemption. It must be marked on the certificate.
- A physician, APRN or PA must re-evaluate the need for a medical exemption at least once each year and issue a new certificate of immunization at that time. The date of expiration on the section of the certificate marked “medical exemption” should be one year from the date of issue and never be longer than one year.
- There is no standard form for the affidavit of religious exemption. The parent or guardian must give the school or childcare facility a signed and dated notarized affidavit stating that immunizations are against the family’s religious beliefs.
- This affidavit of religious exemption should be filed instead of the Georgia Immunization Certificate (Form 3231). The affidavit does not expire.
- Educate parents that in the event of a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak, children with medical or religious exemptions will be excluded from attending the school or childcare facility.
The immunization records of children enrolled in head start programs, prekindergarten programs and childcare facilities will be reviewed at least once a year by public health. Public health or school officials will perform an annual review of kindergarten and seventh-grade students.
Immunization documentation from church and other private childcare programs also are also reviewed.
In addition to yearly reviews from public health, a staff member from the Georgia Immunization Office will review immunization documentation from randomly selected schools and childcare facilities annually.
The following information is recorded:
- Number of children enrolled
- Number of children who have valid current certificates
- Number of children with expired certificates
- Number of children with current 30-day waivers
- Number of children with religious exemptions
- Number of children with medical exemptions
- Number of children with certificates marked “complete” but missing required doses
When the certificates are reviewed, 100 percent of children attending the school or childcare facility must have appropriate immunization documentation to meet the requirements of the law.
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) 20-2-771, “Any responsible official permitting any child to remain in a school or facility in violation of this Code section, and any parent of guardian who intentionally does not comply with this Code section, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100.00 or by imprisonment for not more than 12 months.”
Noncompliant childcare facilities will be reported to the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL). Noncompliant private and public schools will be reported to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Office of the Inspector General. In addition, noncompliant public schools will be reported to the Georgia DOE.