New York Ends Measles Religious Exemption Vaccine

New law takes effect immediately

The religious exemption on vaccine requirements for school children in New York was eliminated on June 13. This follows the country’s worst measles outbreak in decades which has prompted states to reconsider giving parents avenues to opt out of immunization rules.

The state senate and assembly voted on the exemption that allowed parents to use religious beliefs not to vaccinate their children for school enrollment.

Minutes after the final vote, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure. The law takes effect immediately. It will give unvaccinated students up to 30 days after entering a school to show that they’ve had the first dose of each of the required immunization.

Similar exemptions are allowed in 45 states. However, lawmakers have introduced their legislation to eliminate the waiver.

It’s quite a hotly contested and debated issue. After the vote, many people from the gallery screamed “shame!” Obscenities were yelled to the lawmakers below.

Federal officials have said that this year’s measles outbreak is the highest it has been in 27 years with over 1,000 cases.

Jeffrey Dinowitz, the Bronx Democrat also the bill’s assembly sponsor said that he isn’t aware of anything in the Torah, the Quran or the Bible, which says that you mustn’t get vaccinated. He elaborated by telling parents that if they choose not to protect their children, they are endangering them.

The parents of hundreds of unvaccinated children came together to protest the vote at New York’s Capitol.

The Russian Orthodox religious views of attorney and father, Stan Yung said keep him from vaccinating his children. He has said that his family might consider leaving the state over this issue.

On the flip side, supporters of the bill have said that religious beliefs about vaccines mustn’t trump scientific evidence about the effectiveness of vaccines. The U.S. supreme court ruled in 1905 that states can enforce vaccination laws.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter