States Seek to Cut Off Religious Exemptions for Vaccination

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Connecticut's attorney general has given state lawmakers the legal go-ahead to pursue a measure that would keep parents from exempting their children from vaccinations for religious reasons.

Attorney General William Tong offered no stance Monday on whether the General Assembly should scrap the state's religious exemption.

But the Democrat's formal opinion released Monday says Connecticut may "create, eliminate or suspend" the exemption. He says it is within the state's "well-settled power to protect public safety and health."

Immunization Exemption Rates by School

Data released by the State Department of Public Health shows the percentage of the student body currently exempt from immunizations for either medical or religious reasons by school. Click on a school to find the percentage breakdown.

Data from schools with less than 30 students were not provided.
Data: Connecticut State Department of Public Health

A top legislative Democrat had requested the nonbinding opinion, concerned that a growing number of families have sought the exemption in recent years. Critics say their constitutional rights would be violated.

Also Monday, some New York health officials urged lawmakers to pass similar legislation to end that state's religious exemption, given the uptick in measles cases.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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