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New York Legislature Removes Religious Exemption to Vaccination in One Day

Location: NY
Title: New York Legislature Removes Religious Exemption to Vaccination in One Day
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Dear New York NVIC Advocacy Team Members,

Yesterday was a very tough day. Below is the release that we have published regarding the removal of the religious exemption and a copy of our statement we shared with the Assembly Health Committee.

There is a lot of confusion, fear and uncertainty right now amongst New Yorkers who have vaccine safety concerns and genuine religious objections to vaccination and how this law change will impact their families.  We will continue to share information and update the portal as we sort through all of this with you. 

We are extremely grateful to the brave legislators who rose to speak the truth in the midst of an intense industry backed intense misinformation campaign.  Please continue to talk to your legislators.  Many who voted for this were not comfortable with their decision and laws can be changed. Look at the bottom of this note for voting results in the Assembly and we will update the NVIC Advocacy Portal when Senate votes are published. Thank your legislators who said no and continue polite heartfelt and educational conversations with those who voted in favor.  We will  continue to educate, advocate and fight in New York to not only restore religious belief exemptions to state law, but to expand exemptions to include reasons of conscience.  

The legislative session runs until June 19th, and there are still several bills that could move that we are watching.

Sincerely,

NVIC Advocacy Team
National Vaccine Information Center
http://NVIC.org and http://NVICAdvocacy.org
https://nvicadvocacy.org/members/Members/ContactUs.aspx

New York Bill Removing Religious Vaccine Exemption

Turned Into Law on One Day with No Public Hearings

Statement by National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC)

June 14, 2019

On June 13, 2019, the New York legislature quickly pushed a bill (A2371) to repeal the religious exemption to vaccination through both the Assembly and Senate in one day with no public hearings. [i] The unprecedented legislative coup, which cut the citizens of New York out of participating in the law making process, culminated in the Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo immediately signing the bill into law. [ii] [iii] The Assembly narrowly voted 77 to 53 to approve the bill, after passing with a margin of only one vote out of the Assembly Health Committee, and then the Senate approved the bill 36 to 26. [iv]

“This new law, which was rammed through the New York legislature without public participation violates the human right to hold religious and spiritual beliefs that honor and protect bodily integrity,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-founder and President of the National Vaccine Information Center. “ When a government has to resort to forcing parents to choose between violating their religious beliefs and conscience or giving their children a school education, that government has chosen to rule by fear and coercion and will lose the respect and trust of the people.”

The bill’s sponsors, attorney Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) and attorney Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx), the New York State Health Commissioner and attorney Howard Zucker, MD justified the action based on more than 800 cases of measles reported in several New York City neighborhoods since September 2018.  As of June 6, 2019, there had been 1,022 cases of measles reported in the U.S. population of 328 million people with 266 cases occurring in Rockland County, New York and 588 cases in New York City since last fall. [v] However, there have been no cases of measles reported among children attending school with religious exemptions, and the CDC has stated that 97 percent of children attending kindergarten in New York in the 2017-2018 school year had received two doses of MMR vaccine. [vi]

In a special report about measles and MMR vaccine published on May 25, 2019, NVIC provided scientific evidence published in the medical literature that: [vii]

  • Vaccinated mothers no longer have measles maternal antibodies to transfer to their newborns to protect them in the first year of life, so infants are susceptible to measles from birth
  • Fully vaccinated children and adults can get wild type measles and infect others without showing any symptoms;
  • Subclinical cases of measles in vaccinated persons are not being identified or reported;
  • MMR vaccine strains no longer match currently circulating wild type measles strains;
  • MMR vaccine acquired immunity is waning in older children and adults
  • Many cases of measles in the U.S. and other countries are occurring in vaccinated adults with waning immunity

“It was a very dark day in New York for families with vaccine injured children,” said Dawn Richardson, NVIC’s Director of Advocacy. “They had to witness industry backed misinformation being manipulated for the purpose of denying parents the right to obtain an exemption for sincere religious beliefs for children dependent on critical special education and therapies received at school.” She added, “The democratic process is designed to be inclusive and move slowly and deliberatively over the course of an entire legislative session but, in New York this year the democratic process was subverted, betraying those affected the most by this one day political stunt. At the end of the day, removing longstanding religious belief exemptions will not prevent measles from circulating in New York or any other state.”

About 24,000 children in New York currently attend school with a religious exemption to vaccination (0.8 percent of all students). [viii] Those children now will have to immediately get all state mandate vaccines according to the schedule published by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices or be home schooled next school year. [ix] Some families have said they will have to move out of the state because their children are already vaccine injured or have brain and immune system disorders that do not qualify for medical exemptions under narrow federal vaccine use guidelines. [x]

“New York has joined Mississippi, West Virginia, Maine and California as states that do not respect freedom of thought, conscience and religious beliefs, which are foundational liberties considered to be among the most important human rights,” said Loe Fisher. “This action by the government of New York will only reinvigorate the vaccine safety and informed consent movement founded in 1982 by parents of DPT vaccine injured children. Today, more Americans understand that “no exceptions” public health laws, which force use of a liability free pharmaceutical product in the name of the greater good, is a prescription for tyranny.”

On June 7, 2019, Crain’s New York Business reported that The Partnership for New York City, which represents more than 350 major city employers, wrote a letter to legislators calling for an end to religious exemptions to vaccinations. [xi] Among the business group’s members and partners are Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Google, Inc., Microsoft Corp., Omnicon Public Relations Group, Anthem Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield and top corporate investment and entrepreneurial firms. [xii] In what may or may not be a coincidence, according to Albany Business Review, ILUM Health Solutions, a subsidiary of vaccine industry giant Merck & Co, Inc., announced plans on June 12, 2019 to create 115 new jobs in the Albany area over the next five years, investing 48 million. [xiii]

OPPOSE A2371a

Religious Exemptions to Mandatory Childhood Vaccines should NOT be Removed

June 12, 2019

Dear Honorable Members of the New York Assembly Health Committee, 

The non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), founded in 1982 to prevent injuries and deaths through public education and protect the informed consent ethic, opposes A497 on behalf of our New York donor supporters. NVIC is a pro-education, pro-informed consent consumer advocacy organization that secured vaccine safety and informed consent provisions in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.

NVIC opposes the passage of A2371a because it repeals the longstanding legal protection for religious exemptions to vaccine requirements.  Removing religious exemptions in New York will NOT stop measles outbreaks.

MMR vaccination rates are very high where 97.2 % of New York kindergartners have 2 MMR doses and religious vaccine exemptions are very low where only 2,199 kindergartners in all of New York had religious exemptions last school year.

No evidence was presented to legislators to support how many measles cases there are in students using a religious exemption. Both the CDC and New York State Department of Health failed to provide the number of people in the current measles outbreak who had confirmed cases of measles and used a religious exemption. (NVIC sent a written request on 5/30 to NYSDOH and called in to the CDC on the same day.)

Measles infections still spread in highly vaccinated populations.

Measles immunity wanes and both those who were vaccinated and those who had natural infection can still get typical measles, mild modified measles and asymptomatic measles infection. 

Because previously immune people can experience subclinical and asymptomatic infections with measles, the true number of cases are significantly underreported and disproportionately attributed to those who have not been vaccinated or previously infected since their symptoms are more pronounced. 

Measles cases on the rise is a worldwide phenomenon unconnected to New York religious exemptions where the CDC has stated that all World Health Organization regions “are experiencing large, often extended outbreaks of the disease”. The current New York outbreak is cited as being sourced to travelers coming from Israel.

US fatalities from measles are extremely low and do not justify removing the religious rights of such a small number of families.

There are no fatalities being reported in New York from measles but the most recent New York Mortality data published by the CDC shows just under 4,000 drug overdose deaths and close to 800 firearms deaths in just one year!  Meanwhile the following causes of death account for the loss of life of over 117,000 New York residents in just 2017 alone: heart disease, cancer, accidents, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, flu/pneumonia, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, and septicemia.

AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, MO, OR, WA are all states that have rejected bills this session to remove or restrict religious or philosophical vaccine exemptions on all vaccines. 

NVIC urges the members of the New York Legislature to oppose A2371a and not remove the longstanding protection of religious exemptions to vaccination since removing the exemption will not stop the outbreaks.

Sincerely,

Dawn Richardson
Director of Advocacy, National Vaccine Information Center

Heather Walker
New York State Director, National Vaccine Information Center

http://NVIC.org and http://NVICAdvocacy.org

Make A Difference, support NVIC. NVIC is a certified 501(c)3 Charity.

ASSEMBLY VOTES - https://www.nyassembly.gov/leg/?default_fld=&leg_video=&bn=A02371&term=0&Summary=Y&Actions=Y&Committee%26nbspVotes=Y&Floor%26nbspVotes=Y

A02371 Committee Votes:

Committee:HEALTH Chair:Gottfried DATE:06/13/2019AYE/NAY:14/12 Action: Favorable refer to committee Rules

Gottfried

Aye

Raia

Nay

Schimminger

Nay

McDonough

Nay

Galef

Aye

Ra

Nay

Dinowitz

Aye

Garbarino

Nay

Cahill

Aye

Byrne

Nay

Paulin

Aye

Byrnes

Nay

Cymbrowitz

Nay

Ashby

Nay

Gunther

Aye

Rosenthal

Aye

Hevesi

Aye

Jaffee

Aye

Steck

Aye

Abinanti

Nay

Braunstein

Aye

Kim

Aye

Solages

Aye

Bichotte

Nay

Barron

Nay

Sayegh

Aye


Committee:RULES Chair:Gottfried DATE:06/13/2019AYE/NAY:20/8 Action: Favorable

Heastie

Excused

Kolb

Nay

Gottfried

Aye

Crouch

Nay

Lentol

Nay

Finch

Aye

Gantt

Excused

Barclay

Aye

Nolan

Aye

Raia

Nay

Weinstein

Nay

Hawley

Nay

Ortiz

Aye

Giglio

Nay

Pretlow

Aye

Malliotakis

Aye

Cook

Aye

Glick

Aye

Aubry

Aye

Englebright

Aye

Dinowitz

Aye

Colton

Excused

Magnarelli

Aye

Perry

Aye

Paulin

Aye

Titus

Aye

Peoples-Stokes

Nay

Benedetto

Aye

Lavine

Aye

Lupardo

Aye

Zebrowski

Aye


Go to top


A02371 Floor Votes:

DATE:06/13/2019Assembly Vote  YEA/NAY: 84/61

Abbate

Y

Crespo

ER

Gantt

ER

LiPetri

NO

Perry

Y

Simon

Y

Abinanti

NO

Crouch

NO

Garbarino

NO

Lupardo

Y

Pheffer Amato

NO

Simotas

Y

Arroyo

Y

Cruz

Y

Giglio

NO

Magnarelli

Y

Pichardo

Y

Smith

NO

Ashby

NO

Cusick

Y

Glick

Y

Malliotakis

Y

Pretlow

Y

Smullen

NO

Aubry

Y

Cymbrowitz

NO

Goodell

NO

Manktelow

NO

Quart

Y

Solages

Y

Barclay

NO

Davila

Y

Gottfried

NO

McDonald

Y

Ra

NO

Stec

NO

Barnwell

Y

De La Rosa

Y

Griffin

Y

McDonough

NO

Raia

NO

Steck

Y

Barrett

Y

DenDekker

Y

Gunther

Y

McMahon

Y

Ramos

Y

Stern

Y

Barron

NO

DeStefano

NO

Hawley

NO

Mikulin

NO

Raynor

Y

Stirpe

Y

Benedetto

Y

Dickens

Y

Hevesi

Y

Mill B

NO

Reilly

NO

Tague

NO

Bichotte

NO

Dilan

Y

Hunter

Y

Mill MG

Y

Reyes

Y

Taylor

NO

Blake

Y

Dinowitz

Y

Hyndman

Y

Mill ML

ER

Richardson

NO

Thiele

NO

Blankenbush

NO

DiPietro

NO

Jacobson

Y

Montesano

NO

Rivera

Y

Titus

Y

Brabenec

NO

D'Urso

Y

Jaffee

Y

Morinello

NO

Rodriguez

Y

Vanel

Y

Braunstein

Y

Eichenstein

NO

Jean-Pierre

Y

Mosley

Y

Romeo

Y

Walczyk

NO

Bronson

NO

Englebright

Y

Johns

Y

Niou

Y

Rose D

Y

Walker

Y

Buchwald

Y

Epstein

NO

Jones

Y

Nolan

Y

Rose L

Y

Wallace

Y

Burke

Y

Fahy

Y

Joyner

Y

Norris

NO

Rozic

Y

Walsh

NO

Buttenschon

Y

Fall

Y

Kim

Y

O'Donnell

Y

Ryan

Y

Weinstein

NO

Byrne

NO

Fernandez

Y

Kolb

NO

Ortiz

Y

Salka

NO

Weprin

NO

Byrnes

NO

Finch

NO

Lalor

NO

Otis

Y

Santabarbara

NO

Williams

ER

Cahill

NO

Fitzpatrick

NO

Lavine

Y

Palmesano

NO

Sayegh

NO

Woerner

Y

Carroll

Y

Friend

NO

Lawrence

NO

Palumbo

NO

Schimminger

NO

Wright

NO

Colton

NO

Frontus

Y

Lentol

NO

Paulin

Y

Schmitt

Y

Zebrowski

Y

Cook

ER

Galef

Y

Lifton

Y

Peoples-Stokes

NO

Seawright

Y

Mr Spkr

Y

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) works diligently to prepare and disseminate our legislative advocacy action alerts and supporting materials.  We request that organizations and members of the public forward our alerts in their original form to assure consistent and accurate messaging and effective action. Please acknowledge NVIC as originators of this work when forwarding to members of the public and like-minded organizations. To receive alerts immediately, register  at http://NVICAdvocacy.org, a website dedicated to this sole purpose and provided as a free public service by NVIC. 


[viii]  Precious T. New York Ends Vaccination Exemptions Based on Religious Beliefs. Buffalo News June 13, 2019.

[ix] U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule for ages 18 years or younger, United States, 2019. Feb. 5, 2019.

[xii] Partnership for New York City. Members.

[xiii] Young L. This Merck subsidiary is expanding in Albany — and hiring. Albany Business Review June 12, 2019.


Created By: Dawn
Create Date: 6/14/2019
Publish Date: 6/14/2019
Expires: 12/31/2019
Type: News
Location: NY
Module Id: 1397
Item Id: 1463

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