Currently, the state of New York allows parents to cite religion as a means for vaccine exemption. However, according to the video below and SB S601, that’s in theory only, at least in some districts. For that reason, the New York Senate plans to vote on a bill that would make it easier for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.

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Phil Boyle, (R) 4TH SENATE DISTRICT, sponsored the bill and if it passes, “parents could get a religious exemption by just signing a form and would no longer have to even identify a religion.”1

“Although New York State does have a religious waiver to the vaccine requirements, some school districts conduct an inquiry into whether the beliefs are genuine and sincere. Currently, the law requires only a written and signed statement from the parent, parents, or guardian of such child stating that they object to the child’s immunization due to sincere and genuine religious beliefs which prohibit the immunization of their child. However, the principal or person in charge of the school is free to require supporting documents. This flexibility results in different applications of the law in various school districts. Students who move to new school districts are left to reapply for this waiver which could result in a different outcome.

This bill calls upon the Commissioner of Health and Commissioner of Education to work together to implement a uniform process for students to be considered for the religious waiver to the vaccination requirement for schoolchildren.” 2

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We will watch and update you as more information becomes available.

Sources and References

  1. ABC News 10, May 31, 2018.
  2. NY Senate.