Lawmaker seeks study of vaccine exemption laws, policies

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A state representative has asked for a study of laws and policies governing vaccine exemption to determine if waivers intended for genuine religious objections are being used by parents personally opposed to vaccinations.

The Hartford Courant reports that Rep. Matt Ritter, House chairman of the Public Health Committee, wants a study of exemption laws and policies in states with the same waivers as Connecticut.

The Hartford Democrat said he wants to know if loopholes are used and if the medical community is concerned about exemptions.

Medical reasons require documentation from a doctor and religious reasons don’t require explanation or verification.

Last year, religious waivers totaled 1,028 and 218 medical waivers were granted for children entering kindergarten and the seventh grade. Religious waivers have increased three-fold since 2003-2004.

Connecticut’s immunization percentage is 98.5 percent.

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Information from: Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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