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US New Jersey vaccine bill: Lawmakers to vote whether to eliminate religious exemptions

09:07  13 january  2020
09:07  13 january  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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In June, New York passed a similar law to end religious exemptions , but the New Jersey bill would go further by also ending exemptions at institutions Such a situation, he said, might arise in cases in which a family believes it has two children injured by vaccines , and is debating whether to vaccinate

ALBANY — Lawmakers in New York, the epicenter of the nation’s measles outbreak, voted on Thursday to end religious exemptions for immunizations The proposal gained attention this week when the actress Jessica Biel met with California lawmakers to lobby against the measure; she said

Lawmakers in New Jersey are set to vote Monday on a controversial bill that would eliminate religion as a reason not to vaccinate public schoolchildren.

a group of people jumping in front of a crowd: Anti-vaccination protesters outside the New Jersey State House on December 16, 2019, in Trenton.© Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com/Imagn Content Services Anti-vaccination protesters outside the New Jersey State House on December 16, 2019, in Trenton.

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, a sponsor of the bill, said vaccinations are a public health issue and pointed to the fatal consequences of infectious disease in a statement to CNN.

"Everyone is entitled to express their opinions but we have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of all children, the people in their lives and in their communities," she said.

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New Jersey lawmakers on Monday appeared poised to approve legislation eliminating religious exemptions to vaccine requirements for school-aged The push to pass the legislation arrives at the end of a year in which measles outbreaks around the U.S. led to active calls from lawmakers to end

The Associated Press: NJ Assembly Passes Bill To Bar Religious Exemption For Shots New Jersey 's Assembly on Monday passed a measure to eliminate religious exemptions for vaccines for schoolchildren, but the bill stalled in the state Senate as opponents shouted so loudly they drowned

"We will get this done because it is the right thing to do and I believe we have the support in the Senate to get this legislation approved on Monday with the exemption for private schools and day care centers that choose to allow unvaccinated students."

The bill comes to a vote as an increasing number of parents in the United States are citing faith to avoid getting their children vaccinated, according to a new study -- even though no major religion opposes vaccination.

According to the CDC, childhood vaccination is "essential because it helps provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases."

Final amendments to the bill were made Thursday on the state Senate floor before they were adopted in a 18-15 vote, said Richard McGrath, a spokesman for Senate President Stephen Sweeney.

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Lawmakers in New York voted Thursday to end non-medical vaccine exemptions for school-age children in an effort to combat the high number of measles cases.

TRENTON, N . J . (AP) — New Jersey ’s Assembly on Monday passed a measure to eliminate religious exemptions for vaccines for schoolchildren, but Sweeney said he will post the bill for a vote again before the legislative session expires next month, but he downplayed the role the protests played in

The proposed bill includes an exemption for private schools and private day care centers, said McGrath. This would allow the private schools and centers to decide themselves if they want to accept non-vaccinated students as long as they disclose to all students their vaccinate rate in that particular school.

McGrath said Republican Senator Declan O'Scanlan was the deciding vote. In a Twitter post Thursday afternoon, O'Scanlan clarified that the amendments restrict the bill to public institutions, and that private ones still have a choice.

"There are other aspects but that's the big one. I realize this isn't a perfect solution. But it's a balance that I think is fair," he tweeted.

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A few thousand people gathered outside the New Jersey State House in Trenton on Thursday to protest the bill, Beata Savreski, a mother of three and opponent of the bill, told CNN.

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Measles outbreak: The New York state Assembly has voted to eliminate a religious exemption to One woman standing in the Assembly gallery yelled profanities down on lawmakers , who then Supporters of the bill say religious beliefs about vaccines shouldn't eclipse scientific evidence that

State lawmakers are poised to vote today on a controversial bill to require youngsters be fully vaccinated before attending public and private educational programs in New Jersey from preschool through college — unless a doctor has provided an exemption based on specific medical guidelines.

Savreski, 40, hopes the bill won't pass on Monday. Even with the exemption she doesn't see it as fair or even as a compromise, she said.

"I'm against taking all the control out of parents' hands and putting it in the government's hands," Savreski said. "I grew up in communism. This is worse than communism."

Assemblyman Jamel Holley also has expressed his opposition to the bill.

"I've been totally against this bill from day one and now I am even more compelled to oppose. This includes bringing along my fellow Members of the Assembly to vote against this discriminatory, unconstitutional, and an over reach of government," he wrote Saturday in a post on his verified Facebook page.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's office declined to comment, citing the pending legislation.

"Job number one for me has been and will continue to be the safety, security and health of all 9 million folks in New Jersey, including especially our vulnerable communities and even, as if not more, our kids," he said last week on his monthly radio call-in show on WBGO.

The governor added he will make decisions on any bill based on science, facts and data.

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A bill to end religious exemptions is stalled, in part because of concern about the reaction of politically influential religious constituents, including ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups. But state lawmakers have thus far resisted passing a bill that would eliminate religious exemptions for vaccinations .

New Jersey ’s Senate abandoned efforts to pass a bill Monday that would end religious exemptions to vaccine requirements for some 14,000 students “There is a religious element to vaccines ,” he told the Times. “And for the state to eliminate the religious exemption , it sets a precedent, it begins

Dr. Sean O'Leary, a spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, said all non-medical exceptions to vaccines should be eliminated and that the benefits outweigh the risks.

"From a scientific standpoint the benefits of vaccine can't be understated," he said. "Every year the US childhood vaccination program saves 42,000 lives. For every dollar you spend on vaccine, you save $10 on societal cost."

He defined societal cost as the direct cost of the disease plus the indirect costs like missed school and work.

O'Leary said most parents who opt out of vaccinating their children and use the religion exception actually have a personal-belief objection rather than a religious one.

"All the world's major religions are strongly supportive of vaccination because vaccination saves lives and protects children," he said.

A small fraction of New Jersey students have used the exemption

According to a chart on New Jersey's state website, 2.3% of kindergarteners and 1.7% of sixth-graders used the religious exemption in the 2018-2019 school year.

The New Jersey Department of Education declined to comment.

The bill is expected to pass, but some lawmakers still have concerns about its contents. A spokesman for Senator Joseph Lagana told CNN, "Senator Lagana takes this issue very seriously. While he and his wife have opted to vaccinate their children, he has concerns with the proposal to completely remove a process for religious exemptions."

Voting on the bill will take place Monday in both the Senate and Assembly, McGrath said. If the bill doesn't pass on Monday, it would be put off until the next legislative session, which begins on Tuesday.

Ohio doctor gets threats over pro-vaccine video .
One online user labeled her "Public Enemy #1", another commented that the pediatrician should "stop killing our kids with vaccines."In the playful video, Baldwin emphasizes that vaccines do not cause autism. Despite that, a recent poll found that 46% of Americans are still unsure about the debunked theory. A Gallup poll from 2019 reports that 16% of parents with children under the age of 18 believe vaccines flat out cause more harm than good.

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