"Typhoid Inoculation" by John Vachon / Public Domain

New York, epicenter of measles outbreak, bans religious exemptions for vaccines

Jun 14, 2019

By Eli Rosenberg

New York officially ended religious exemptions for school vaccines Thursday as the state grapples with its largest measles outbreak in years.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) signed the legislation into law Thursday evening after it passed in the state’s Senate and Assembly, ending years of gridlock over the issue.

“We’re putting science ahead of misinformation about vaccines and standing up for the rights of immunocompromised children and adults, pregnant women and infants who can’t be vaccinated through no fault of their own,” state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D) said in a statement.

The law gives unvaccinated students up to 30 days to show they’ve started their required immunizations.

All states have laws requiring various vaccines for students and all allow for medical exemptions. Many also grant parents the right to exempt their children from the vaccines for religious reasons, and a smaller number for philosophical reasons.

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