Lawmakers Plan Discussion, Vote On Religious Exemption For Child Vaccines

Bill Sencio
March 13, 2019 - 2:13 pm

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTIC) - State lawmakers announced their intent to discuss and vote on a measure on religious exemptions when it comes to vaccinating children against childhood diseases like Measles, Mumps, and Rubella. 

State House Majority Leader Matt Ritter of Hartford said he would like to see action within the next 12 months. 

Democratic State Rep. Josh Elliott of Hamden added that a primary concern is protecting children against contracting a disease that could be mitigated by vaccination.

"We know that year over year, a double-digit growth in not non-vaccinated children is growing in our state. The issue for us is, do we want to wait until we have deaths and large, wide-scale outbreaks? Or do we want to solve the problem before it gets to Connecticut? That's the issue that we're addressing." 

State Rep. Liz Linehan, co-chair of the legislature's Committee on Children, believes there needs to be a separation of fact from fiction when it comes to vaccinating children.

"We have been trying for years to educate this group of people, who I understand are vaccine-averse. But unfortunately, I also don't believe they have the right science behind them. We have seen study after study come out to say that vaccines do not cause autism." 

Opponents, however, say doing away with the exemption would be an overreach of government, and would affect religious beliefs.