17 November 2021

This request just came in from the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP): "You may have seen the MedPage Today article titled, AMA Delegates Target Naturopaths Who Write Vaccine Exemptions. We wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to our state leaders and ask that you promptly relay the following information to your members so they are in compliance with your state laws & scope regarding vaccine exemptions.

"According to attorneys consulted by the AANP, NDs in pre-licensed states should unequivocally NOT write vaccine exemptions, as writing vaccine exemptions almost certainly would be construed as practicing medicine without a license and could put both the ND and the profession at risk.

"NDs in licensed states should only write/sign vaccine exemptions if their scope allows it. We have heard that NDs in CA and AZ, for example, are NOT allowed to write/sign vaccine exemptions. If you do not know your particular state’s scope, we encourage you to contact your regulatory authority to find out definitively."

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We are sharing this notice because we have members from all over the country and we recognize that not all of you are practicing in states that include immunization in naturopathic medical scope of practice.

Immunizations ARE within the scope of practice of naturopathic physicians licensed in Washington State (when delivering medical care to patients who are located in Washington State) and with this privilege comes incredible responsibility. We urge our members to utilize sound clinical reasoning, science- and evidence-based informed consent, and guidance from local, state, and national health departments when discussing vaccination options with your patients. We further urge our members to follow the guidelines of the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if you are considering providing medical exemptions to vaccination for your patients. Finally, we repeat our recommendation to consult with your personal attorney if you are writing or signing religious exemptions to vaccination.

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