Two New York lawmakers are calling for an end non-medical exemptions vaccinations for school-aged children, saying they want to end the “personal belief loophole” which advocates for religious vaccine exemptions, The Journal News reported.
“The goal here is to push legislation to remove all non-medical exemptions for vaccination for children to go to school in New York state,” State Sen. David Carlucci (D) said. “We’ve seen the spread of measles really spread like wildfire in communities where the vaccination rates are not high.”
Carlucci added that religious groups he’d spoken to do not bar people from receiving vaccines.
“The religious communities that I’ve spoken to in no way prevent people from getting vaccinated,” he said. “This (bill) would take any of that misconception out of the puzzle.”
State Sen. Brad Hoylman echoed Carlucci, stating that there is no major religious group that advocates against vaccinations as part of its official doctrine.
“New York’s religious belief exemption is a personal belief loophole,” Hoylman said. “According to experts, no major religious group advocates against vaccinations as a matter of official doctrine.
The bill is currently in committee in both the state Senate and Assembly, the newspaper noted.
If the legislation is signed into law, New York would become the fourth state that allows only medical exemptions for vaccinations.
California passed a similar law in 2015 when a measles outbreak hit California. Mississippi and West Virginia also only allow medical exemptions for vaccinations.