Measles Vaccine

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Bill Would Allow Teens To Get Vaccinated Without Parental Consent

March 08, 2019 - 7:03 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Some New York State lawmakers are proposing legislation that would allow minors to receive vaccinations without parental consent after the Health Department claimed a recent measles outbreak is being made worse by so-called “anti-vaxxers.”

“New York State is on the verge of a public health crisis and it's quite serious with over 200 identify cases of measles,” says Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy.

Currently, there are 143 reported cases in Rockland County and 121 in Brooklyn. The majority of cases are affecting children under the age of 18.

In order to try and prevent the public health crisis from worsening, Fahy will help introduce legislation in Albany that would allow some minors to get vaccinated against their parents' wishes, many of whom chose not to vaccinate “because of religious or philosophical exemptions.”

The measles outbreak is primarily affecting Orthodox Jewish communities and Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov, in Williamsburg, has even confirmed 21 cases after an unvaccinated student at the school became infected, the New York Times reports.

The idea of allowing minors to seek out vaccinations without their parents’ consent came after 18-year-old Ethan Lindenberger testified before Congress about his experience of struggling to receive the vaccinations he desperately wanted but which his anti-vaccine mother would not allow.

He noted that his journey to get vaccinated stemmed from wanting to protect others against diseases as much as himself and says that anti-vaccine literature – which claims the immunizations are linked to autism and brain damage – has been allowed to spread online for too long.

Assemblywoman Fahy now says she wants to create a process for children over the age of 14 to get vaccinated. The process, she says, would include a consultation with a health professional.