New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law on Thursday, which will “immediately end religious exemptions for vaccine mandates.”
The governor said he signed the bill to protect the public from one of the worst measles outbreak in the United States, which he considered a “public health crisis.”
The measles outbreak started in October and spread in certain regions of New York City, especially among Orthodox Jewish communities.
In March, NBC reported, “Rockland County declared a countywide State of Emergency relating to the ongoing measles outbreak. Effective at the stroke of midnight, Wednesday, anyone who is under 18 years of age and unvaccinated against the measles will be barred from public places until this declaration expires in 30 days or until they receive the MMR vaccination.”
With the passing of this law, parents will now be forced to vaccinate their children prior to attending school in the state and religious exemptions will not help them get out of it.
So, now, the only acceptable vaccine exemptions will be on medical backgrounds, such as a child’s poor immune system.
On Thursday, some opponents protested the passing of the bill in Assembly; however, sponsors of the bill praised the decision as a preventive measure for children.
State Sen. Brad Hoylman, a sponsor of the legislation, said, “If your kid is immuno compromised and going to school or a day care center, you want to know that they’re going to be safe.”
State Sen. David Carlucci said, “It’s our obligation to act. We have to do everything we can to get the number of people vaccinated up.” A woman who was protesting the law said, “The government does not have the right to interfere with my personal religious beliefs. We will not vaccinate. What’s going to happen is we’re going to either home school or we’re going to move out of state.”