Lawmakers look to end religious exemption for vaccinations

Kimberly Dole
June 13, 2019 - 10:13 am

Press Association

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The state Senate is expected to vote to end a religious exemption for vaccinations in New York on Thursday and the Assembly is set to move the bill to the floor for a vote in the coming days.

Amid an outbreak of measles, the state Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo appear set to end a religious exemption for vaccinations in New York.

"It's a public health crisis. I understand freedom of religion. We all do. We respect it. I've heard the anti-vaxxers theory, but I believe both are overwhelmed by the public health risk," Cuomo told 

The measure would drop an exemption from vaccinations due to religious beliefs, making only health reasons the only way to avoid vaccines in order for children to attend school or day care.

Supporters have pushed to have the bill in a bid to join California in ending the exemption and has gained more support as measles spread.

"The responsibility for the government of the state of New York is, yes, to protect the constitutional rights of individuals, but it is also to protect the public health," Cuomo said.

There have been 550 cases of measles since the outbreak started last October.

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