New law makes religious exemption from vaccinations more difficult

(WTNH) — A new law just went into the books to make it harder for parents to claim a religious exemption from required vaccinations, but just how hard is it?

Under the law, to claim a religious exemption for your child, you need to sign an annual statement before a notary, attorney, or judge. Dr. Ronald Angoff is educating parents on the importance of vaccinations.

“Measles is a horrible disease,” he said. “We used to have hundreds of thousands of cases a year in the United States before the measles vaccine came out in the 1960’s.”

Dr. Angoff has been studying the data for decades and believes children should be protected from preventable diseases.

“We’ve had really good data since the 1980’s showing that the incidents of any long-term, significant complication of any vaccine is one in 10 million doses, so it’s so rare you can’t even prove cause and effect,” he said.

Parents say vaccines offer a peace of mind.

“I think it is really important to get my kids vaccinated to protect themselves and obviously to protect other people,” said Carisssa Mastriano.

“We trust our pediatrician, we trust the history” said Nora Lee. “Both my husband and I are vaccinated and they’ve been healthy, and I also trust that when they go to school they will be healthy because the majority of children are vaccinated.”

Dr. Angoff thinks Connecticut lawmakers need do away with the religious exemption.

“I think it’s not fair to those parents that take that minimal risk, and then our kids are exposed to other kids because those parents said ‘I don’t to vaccinate my kid.'”

Dr. Angoff says the number one thing in the country that prevents death and infection is sanitation, and the second thing is vaccination.

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