New York is currently experiencing its worse measles outbreak in three decades, despite very effective vaccinations being widely available for the infectious virus. Now, lawmakers are doing something about it.
They have just voted to eliminate the state’s religious exemptions to requirements for schoolchildren to get vaccinated. Though 45 states still have religious exemptions, California ended theirs in 2015, and several other states are considering similar measures.
According to the AP, hundreds of people protested the decision at the state’s capitol.
The bill’s sponsor, Democrat Jeffrey Dinowitz, told reporters, “I’m not aware of anything in the Torah, the Bible, the Koran or anything else that suggests you should not get vaccinated. If you choose to not vaccinate your child, therefore potentially endangering other children …then you’re the one choosing not to send your children to school.”
The state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, agreed, telling the press, “I understand freedom of religion. I have heard the anti-vaxxers’ theory, but I believe both are overwhelmed by the public health risk.”