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CT House passes bill removing religious exemptions from childhood vaccinations

It will now head to the State Senate for a vote

HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut State House of Representatives has voted to approve a bill that would remove the religious exemption from mandatory school vaccinations.

This measure has been raised over the course of multiple years and was debated for more than 15 hours yesterday. The bill was ultimately passed around 4 a.m. by a vote of 90 to 53.

This measure would get rid of the religious exemption starting on September 1st, 2022.

An amendment did pass on Monday on a bipartisan vote to allow students in kindergarten through 12th grade to be "grandfathered" into it. An earlier version of the bill would have only allowed students in 7th grade and up to continue claiming the exemption.

Gov. Ned Lamont said, "We saw that it was a very strong vote in the legislature, which I consider in support of vaccinations doing everything we can to encourage in this case students to get vaccinated. With obviously the necessary medical exemption. I think will be able to implement that, I don’t see any reason why we can’t do that and I think it sends a strong signal which I appreciate.”

Parents who are against the measure say this is just another way the government is trying to take their rights away as a parent to make decisions for their child. 

On the other side, proponents say that this measure will further protect medically compromised children who cannot be vaccinated.

The bill does not force children to be vaccinated but does bar unvaccinated children who don't qualify for some type of medical exemption from enrolling in school.

This vote now advances the bill to the State Senate.

If the bill passes the Senate, it will then go to the governor who said he'd sign it.


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