Lawmakers aiming to end religious exemptions for vaccinations

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Just one week after the state’s second confirmed case of measles was identified, lawmakers are taking action.

State Representative Andy Vargas filed House Bill 4284 to remove the language about religious belief from the current state law. This would allow only medical exemptions as a reason to not vaccinate children.

Currently, children who are entering school must be vaccinated unless a physician certifies that a vaccine would endanger the child’s health or unless the parent or guardian offers a written statement that vaccination conflicts with their sincere religious beliefs.

More than two dozen lawmakers have already signed on to join Representative Vargas’ proposal and they’re using national data to justify their decision.

According to the Center for Disease Control, a total of 981 measles cases have been confirmed in 26 states this year through May 31.

That’s the highest number of cases reported in the United States since 1992.

Lawmakers are hoping Massachusetts will join Maine and several other states to end religious exemptions for vaccinations.

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