Conn. Governor Expected To Support Ending Religious Exemption For Vaccines

WCBS 880 Newsroom
September 14, 2019 - 5:37 pm

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HARTFORD (WCBS 880) – Connecticut may soon be joining New York in getting rid of the religious exemption for vaccinations.

Gov. Ned Lamont is expected to show his support for an effort to repeal the state’s religions exemption for vaccines on Monday.

Connecticut didn’t see the measles outbreaks that New York did this year—the state saw three cases compared to more than 1,000 in New York.

But House Majority Leader Matt Ritter, a Democrat, says the cases also come amid a decline in vaccination rates.

“So, at some point, you’re playing with fire,” Ritter told WCBS 880's Steve Burns.

Ritter has led an effort to get rid of the state’s religious exemption for vaccinations.

“You have many religious rights in this country, but you can’t put other people in harm’s way,” he said.

The Connecticut Mirror reports Lamont and the state’s public health commissioner will be showing his support for that effort with a press conference Monday.

“I think people do look to the governor. He's the chief elected official of our state, the same as the public health commissioner. That's her charge, is protect the public health. So them coming out, if and when they do, is an important step,” Ritter said.

He says they aren’t forcing anyone to get vaccinated, but kids that aren’t will need to find alternative education, as he puts it.

The rule wouldn’t go into effect until the next school year at the earliest.