2023 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 24 - Health and Safety
Article 5 - Immunization
Section 24-5-3 - Exemption from immunization.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 24-5-3 (2023)

A. Any minor child through the child's parent or guardian may file with the health authority charged with the duty of enforcing the immunization laws:

(1) a certificate of a licensed physician, a physician assistant or a certified nurse practitioner stating that the physical condition of the child is such that immunization would seriously endanger the life or health of the child;

(2) an affidavit or written affirmation from an officer of a recognized religious denomination that the child's parents or guardians are bona fide members of a denomination whose religious teaching requires reliance upon prayer or spiritual means alone for healing; or

(3) an affidavit or written affirmation from the child's parent or legal guardian that the parent's or legal guardian's religious beliefs, held either individually or jointly with others, do not permit the administration of vaccine or other immunizing agent.

B. Upon filing and approval of such certificate, affidavit or affirmation, the child is exempt from the legal requirement of immunization for a period not to exceed nine months on the basis of any one certificate, affidavit or affirmation.

History: 1953 Comp., § 12-3-4.3, enacted by Laws 1959, ch. 329, § 3; 1979, ch. 42, § 1; 2023, ch. 94, § 1.


The 2023 amendment, effective July 1, 2023, allowed physician assistants or certified nurse practitioners to certify that immunization is detrimental to the physical condition of a child; and in Subsection A, Paragraph A(1), after "licensed physician", added "a physician assistant or a certified nurse practitioner".

Section is controlling as to children attending public, private or parochial schools. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 62-05.

Chiropractors do not qualify as physicians for the purposes intended by this section. 1959 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 59-96.

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