No vote planned this session on religious exemption

May 16, 2019 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The General Assembly will not vote this session on whether to eliminate Connecticut’s religious exemption from vaccines for schoolchildren.

Democratic House Majority Leader Matt Ritter said Thursday there was “overwhelming support” to remove the exemption, given new data that show more than 100 schools with vaccination rates that fall below recommended federal guidelines.

But Ritter says there are some outstanding issues, such as how to handle unvaccinated students currently enrolled in school.

Legislative leaders plan to ask the state Department of Public Health for advice on how to address those students, as well as what statutory authority the agency may need to increase vaccination rates. They also plan to ask whether the agency believes the religious exemption should be removed or if there’s an alternative for increasing Connecticut’s vaccination rates.