New poll shows strong statewide support for eliminating the vaccine religious exemption


A Siena Research Poll shows 79 percent of voters in New York State say it should be mandatory for children entering public school to be vaccinated, regardless of religious beliefs.

The issue is a major concern for local doctors. Some feel as though the religious exemption should be reconsidered.

“I don’t believe there are any religious reasons not to protect babies and infants and members of the population from an infection that can be life threatening,” Doctor Stephen Lana, Delaware Pediatrics.

Doctor Lana says that infants and people who are not medically able to get vaccinations become vulnerable when others go unvaccinated. And, it could contribute to the potential spread of diseases.

“We’re now seeing an uptick in measles.  Whooping cough is always a possibility. Influenza is still rampant in the community,” Lana said. “There’s a lot of preventable infections that can be devastating that can be life threatening that can be prevented if we immunize everyone that’ is eligible”

There’s currently a bill in the state senate health committee looking at repealing the religious exemption for vaccination. Lieutenant Governor Governor Kathy Hochul (D) New York weighed-in on the issue during a press conference Monday.

“This is not just your own family’s health it’s the health of the entire community,” she said.

Earlier this year, an East Aurora mom sued the Orchard Park School District over her right to have her children unvaccinated. The kids were taken out of school, and then she field a petition with the state Supreme Court.

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