Assemblyman proposes bill to end religious exemptions for measles vaccine

Posted: Updated:
SPRING VALLEY -

A proposed bill would end religious exemptions for measles vaccines.

Measles cases are on the rise in Rockland. Officials say there are now 135 confirmed cases in Rockland County – a majority of them in children.

"When this broke, and it was predominantly in the area where we have Orthodox community, the rabbis there, and it was over 100 of them who met with our commissioner of health, were absolutely in support of getting children immunized,” says Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

An order from the Health Department remains in effect for more than 30 schools in New Square, Spring Valley and Monsey to keep home students who are unvaccinated or undervaccinated from the measles - until 21 days after the last case in the county.

Proposed legislation from Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz would ban religious and non-medical exemptions as a reason for parents not to vaccinate children in New York.

"Unless you have a clear medically based exemption need, and I mean clear, you should be getting your shots. You should be getting immunized,” says Day.

Day says the county has given nearly 15,000 MMR vaccines since the measles outbreak began in October. However, cases continue to rise.

Officials say this is the longest measles outbreak and the most infections since the disease was eradicated nearly 20 years ago.

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