Vaccine

Dreamstime

NYS Bill Would Make It Easier For Parents To Opt Out Of Vaccines Over Religious Objections

May 31, 2018 - 2:14 pm
Categories: 

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Vaccines for public school students are required in New York state, unless parents claim the shots violate their religious beliefs.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, the bill would make it easier for parents to receive a religious exemption. They would just need to sign an affidavit.

New York state Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) wants people to be vaccinated, and he understands some parents might make up a religious objection.

But he said, "I think that's the price you have to pay for respecting peoples' claim of a religious belief."

But Arthur Caplan, director of medical ethics at NYU Medical School, said, "I think we don't need that legislation right now."

He worries that vaccine rates in certain districts will go down.

“The problem is with diseases like measles, you’ve got to get up to rates like 90, 95 percent to protect the whole population," Caplan said.

He said students who are vulnerable would be put at risk.

The vaccine bill was before the state Senate Health Committee on Thursday.