State Lawmakers Hold Hearing About Vaccination Exemptions

We're in the midst of one of the worst measles outbreaks in years and as the contagious virus spreads across the country, lawmakers here in Connecticut are trying to stop this and future outbreaks.

Right now, state law requires all school children to be vaccinated unless they have a religious or medical exemption.

On Monday, state lawmakers are discussing the possibility of removing the religious exemption.

This discussion comes amid a nationwide measles outbreak.

Recently, the state Department of Public Health released data on the immunization rates for the state's public and private schools.

More than 100 Connecticut schools fall under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended 95 percent immunization rate for measles, mumps and rubella vaccines in kindergartners.

While some of the data is being questioned, Governor Ned Lamont called the data "startling."

Attorney General William Tong said the state may create, eliminate or suspend the religious exemption to protect public safety and health.

Opponents said the state has a high vaccination rate and lawmakers should not be dictating a public health policy.

All members of the General Assembly have been invited to participate in the hearing.

There is also a public comment period following the testimony from legislators, public health experts, clergy and medical professionals.

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