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Lamont seeks to end religious exemption to vaccinations

HARTFORD — Gov. Ned Lamont is recommending Connecticut join a growing number of states in eliminating the religious exemption to childhood vaccinations.

The Democrat and state Health Commissioner Renee Coleman-Mitchell on Monday proposed the General Assembly do away with the exemption by the start of the 2021-22 school year.

The decision follows the recent release of state Health Department statistics showing the percentage of Connecticut kindergarteners who were vaccinated against measles and mumps dropped from 96.5% in the 2017-18 school year to 95.9% in the 2018-19 school year.

Lamont and Coleman-Mitchell were joined by leaders of the legislature’s Democratic majority, who called the repeal a public-safety issue during the nation’s worst measles outbreak in decades.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1905 that states have the right to enforce compulsory vaccination laws.

 

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