The Latest: NY moves to end religious vaccine exemption

The Latest on legislation to eliminate a religious exemption to New York state’s vaccine requirements (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

The New York state Assembly has voted to eliminate a religious exemption to vaccine mandates for schoolchildren in the face of its worst measles outbreak in decades.

The Democrat-led chamber approved the bill Thursday. The Senate plans to take up the measure later in the day.

Similar exemptions are allowed in 46 states. But lawmakers in several of them are also considering eliminating the waiver.

Maine nixed its religious exemption earlier this year.

Hundreds of parents of unvaccinated children gathered at New York’s Capitol before Thursday’s vote to protest what several called an assault on religious freedom.

Supporters say misinformation spread by vaccine opponents is creating a public health crisis and putting children who can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons at risk.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he supports eliminating the exemption.

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12:31 p.m.

New York state may soon eliminate a religious exemption to vaccine mandates in the face of its worst measles outbreak in decades.

The Democrat-led Senate and Assembly are expected to pass legislation Thursday that would eliminate the exemption, which allows parents of children to cite their religious beliefs to opt a child out of the vaccines required for school enrollment.

Similar exemptions are allowed in 46 states, though lawmakers in several states are also considering the elimination of the waiver.

Hundreds of parents of unvaccinated children gathered at New York’s Capitol before Thursday’s vote to protest what several called an assault on religious freedom.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday he supports eliminating the exemption, saying public health is at risk.

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