NY lawmakers take on vaccine legislation

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEXSTAR) – The New York Department of Health says there are now 300 confirmed cases of measles in the state outside of the City.

Legislation in the capitol aims to end non-medical exemptions for vaccinations to prevent further outbreaks.

It’s a dangerous virus the Department of Health says is best prevented by having a vaccine. That’s why some lawmakers say the time to expand the use of vaccinations is now.

New York is following the lead of California which had a measles outbreak back in 2014. But, the difference between California and New York is that California acted only after 131 cases,” Senator Brad Hoylman (D-District 27) said.

Hoylman is sponsoring legislation to eliminate non-medical exemptions for vaccines.

“When parents send their kids to schools they should know that their kid’s going to be safe.”

“It’s really trying to address the safety of the public at large while we try to balance the interests of those who may need or require for instance a medical exemption,” Assemblywoman Pat Fahy (D-District 109) said.

Groups like Children’s Health Defense are calling on lawmakers to vote against the bill.

Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-District 75) who chairs the Assembly Health Committee says in a statement:

“I adamantly believe in vaccination and the importance of getting as close to a 100 percent vaccination rate as possible.  At the same time, respecting people’s individual religious beliefs is an important constitutional value.  I am carefully thinking through this issue.”

He says he will put the bill on the committee’s agenda for a motion to report the bill when the sponsor is ready “based on his vote count.”

Assemblywoman Fahy also has a bill that would allow mature minors to seek vaccinations through their healthcare provider.

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