Public debate on religious exemption for vaccinated children wraps up after nearly 24 hours


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Testimony about a controversial childhood vaccination bill lasted for nearly 24 hours at the State Capitol. Thousands took a stand at the hearing, voicing their concerns with the new House bill that some people say violates their religious freedom.

This is all for the controversial topic and bill 5044. It would basically ditch religious exemption when it comes to vaccinating children, meaning parents in our state wouldn’t be allowed to use that as a reason anymore if this passes. The only exemption would be medical if a vaccine would adversely impact someone’s health.

The public hearing on the matter began at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and wrapped up at around 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

RELATED: ‘My body, my choice’: Thousands converge on the Capitol to protect religious exemption to vaccinations

Opponents to the bill say it violates their religious freedom. Adding that if they don’t want their children vaccinated, they won’t be able to go to school.

On the flip side, you have parents and medical professionals who say these vaccines keep kids safe and helps prevent the spread of disease.

A doctor from the Yale School of Health said during a news conference Tuesday that the number of kids not getting vaccinated is slowly going up in Connecticut. When you break down the numbers there are more than half a million school-aged children in our state, and about 14,000 of them are not vaccinated.

RELATED: Public Health leaders: unvaccinated children could be in grave danger, put others in danger

During that news conference, one lawmaker said that one idea that’s being floated around right now would be to possibly grandfather in unvaccinated children currently in the school system and then any new children coming into the system would no longer be able to use religious exemption if the bill passes.

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