The announcement was made after the Department of Public Health revealed findings that rates for MMR – an immunization for measles, mumps, and rubella – have dropped 0.6%.
The Health Department says they fear this is a trend that vaccination rates will continue to drop in the state.
Health officials are recommending that the General Assembly repeal the religious exemption to vaccinations.
ICYMI: Today we held a news conference to discuss the reasons why it is in the best interests of public safety that children who attend public schools and are medically capable receive vaccinations against preventable diseases. https://t.co/VL077MXr9g— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) September 16, 2019
Governor Lamont added in his announcement that Connecticut would join the growing number of states participating in eliminating vaccination exemptions for children who attend public schools:
“This is an incredibly difficult decision and something that I absolutely have thought long and hard about and consulted on with many medical experts.
When it comes to the safety and health of our kids, we need to take an abundance of caution. The more children who receive their vaccinations, the safer it is for everyone, especially those who may be at risk to catch serious diseases.
I want to make it clear, parents will still have a choice regarding the medical decisions for their children, but if you make the choice not to protect your children against preventable diseases, then alternate decisions must be made about where to educate your children.
Over the last couple of years, the number of children who are not receiving all of their required vaccinations is steadily increasing, while at the same time we’re seeing significant growth in preventable diseases that our nation hasn’t seen in decades.”– Governor Lamont
Governor Lamont says his goal is to end the exemption in the next legislative session and make it effective October 1, 2021.
Critics say it’s an invasion of their religious rights.
You can view the full recommendation here:
Free download: Access Connecticut breaking news, weather, stream newscasts live and more on-the-go with News 8 alerts directly to your phone.