State Watch

Connecticut ends religious exemption for school vaccinations

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Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed into law on Wednesday a bill that ends religious exemptions for school vaccinations.

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has signed into law legislation that updates Connecticut’s immunization requirements for students attending preK-12 schools, day care centers, and institutions of higher education by removing exemptions that are not medical,” the governor’s office said in a press release.

The coronavirus vaccine is not included in the list of mandatory vaccines.

The bill requires those in public and nonpublic schools to be vaccinated against “diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, [hemophilus] haemophilus influenzae type B and any other vaccine required by the schedule for active immunization.”

The law will take effect for the 2022-2023 school year.

Students who are already in K-12 can still claim religious exemptions under the law, but those entering the school system after the law takes effect will not be able to.

“This legislation is needed to protect our kids against serious illnesses that have been well-controlled for many decades, such as measles, tuberculosis, and whooping cough, but have reemerged. In recent years, the number of children in our state who have not received routine vaccinations has been steadily increasing, which has been mirrored by significant growth in preventable diseases across the nation,” Lamont said.

“I want to make it clear, this law does not take away the choice of parents to make medical decisions for their children. But, if they do choose not to have their children vaccinated, this bill best ensures that other children and their families will not be exposed to these deadly diseases for hours each day in our schools,” he added.

The law is expected to be challenged in court.

It makes Connecticut one of six states that have decided to end religious exemptions for vaccines, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

Tags Connecticut coronavirus vaccine Ned Lamont religious exemption laws Vaccination Vaccination policy vaccine exemptions Vaccine hesitancy

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