Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton, including diocesan, parish and independent schools, along with other public and non-public schools throughout the state, are required to comply with NJ state health law governing vaccinations of students and adults working in our schools.

Things to know about these laws/policies, since there seems to be some misunderstanding circulating:

1.Vaccination against COVID-19 is recommended but not required for NJ schools, including Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton.

2.Vaccination against influenza is only required for students in a childcare and pre-school setting, including those operating in the Diocese of Trenton.

3.Information on all other vaccination requirements is provided by state health officials responsible for setting these policies at these locations:

The immunization requirements for childcare/preschool and schools are at N.J.A.C. 8:57-4:



FAQ document:

4.New Jersey state law provides for both medical and religious exemptions to mandatory vaccinations. Requirements for medical exemptions are stipulated in N.J.A.C. 8:57-43 and are provided at the link above. Regarding religious exemptions, according to N.J.S.A. 26:1A-9.1, which stipulates that religious exemptions extend to private, parochial and public institutions:

When a parent or guardian submits a written, signed request for exemption from mandatory immunization(s) due to religious beliefs, the statement should be accepted and the religious exemption granted. The request does not need to identify membership in a recognized church or religious denomination or describe how the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with the student’s religious beliefs in order for the request to be granted. Religious affiliated schools or child care centers shall have the authority to withhold or grant a religious exemption from the required immunization for pupils entering or attending their institutions without challenge by any secular authority.

It is not necessary, therefore, to seek this exemption from religious authorities such as the Diocese, the parish, Those seeking a religious exemption, should follow the directions provided on the NJ state website as cited above.

5.Although the issue of vaccines is a medical concern related to public health and not a religious matter, Pope Francis along with the Church’s pre-eminent doctrinal leaders and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have been clear that there is no moral impediment to receiving vaccinations, and that receiving the vaccine should be considered an act of love taken to prevent illness in others.