Rockland lawmakers fight for bill to end religious exemption to MMR vaccine

Posted: Updated:
NEW CITY -

Lawmakers from Rockland County spent Monday in Albany fighting for a controversial bill that would end religious exemptions to the MMR vaccine.           

This comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s concerned about the "troubling rise" in measles cases nationwide. 

Rockland County Executive Ed Day called on state lawmakers Monday to do more about the measles outbreak and pass a bill that would ban all religious exemptions to the MMR vaccine.

The bill would prevent parents from using religion as a reason not to vaccinate school-age children. It's controversial in Albany, but has the support of local lawmakers in Rockland – home to one of the worst outbreaks in the country, with 202 confirmed cases.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also spoke out Monday, saying he supports the legislation to end religious exemptions.

“The state is doing everything it can to work with Rockland and New York City to address this as a public health emergency because it is,” says Cuomo.

Earlier in the day, the CDC announced the measles outbreak has shot up to 704 confirmed cases nationwide. It says there are no signs yet of it slowing down.

If the legislation is successful in Albany, New York would become the fifth state to ban religious exemptions for the vaccines. California also got rid of them several years ago after a measles outbreak at Disneyland.

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