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Albany bills target vaccinations during measles outbreak downstate

Feb 01, 2019 12:05 am
Nick Niedzwiadek reports for Politico that New York state is currently going through its worst measles outbreak since 1989, and legislators in Albany are reacting with a bill. NY Senate bill 2289 would require parents refusing to vaccinate their children to file an affidavit acknowledging the risks. NY Assembly bill 2371 would stop children from attending school despite not having all or any of the required vaccinations if it violates the family’s “genuine and sincere religious beliefs.” Of the approximately 200 cases of measles in the state over the past four months, most were concentrated in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Rockland County where vaccination rates are significantly below the state average. Some recommended caution. “The answer to the measles outbreak is not to undermine protection for people’s religious beliefs,” Assembly Health Chairman Dick Gottfried said in a statement. “The religious exemption is the wrong target here, because this outbreak really is about a social frame of mind. The right answer is well-founded public health practice: education and community outreach." Read the full story at Politico.