State lawmakers pushing for legislation to require vaccinations for all

Rockland County officials made their way to Albany Monday to show support for a new vaccination law.

Posted: Apr 29, 2019 6:55 PM

Rockland County officials made their way to Albany Monday to show support for a new vaccination law.

County Executive Ed Day, was joined by democratic state lawmakers who are supporting a bipartisan bill that would eliminate a section of state law that exempts parents from vaccinating their children because of religious beliefs. This comes as Oneida County stresses the importance of vaccinating children during "National Infant Immunization Week."

"Unfortunately, in New York State, we have have now experienced one of the worse measles outbreaks since measles was irraticated nearly 20 years ago," David Carlucci, New York State Senator said.

Out of the nearly 700 cases reported in the U.S., over 200 of them have been in Rockland County. 

"Of the entire population of the country, we have 29% of the measles cases in the United States of America," Ed Day said.

Local and federal officials are urging parents to vaccinate their children.

"Vaccination is very important, the goal is just to protect children as soon as we can," Rebecca Laporte, Oneida County Public Health Nurse said. "We protect our children in so many other way, we protect them using car seats, we give them healthy foods to eat, we don't just let them eat candy all the time. Immunization is just one important part of how we can protect our children."

Health officials say vaccines are among the most successful public health tools available for preventing disease and death. Vaccines not only protect people who are vaccinated, but protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infecious disease.

"Vaccines are incredibly important to our society," Laporte said. "The important thing with immunization is herd immunity. Herd immunity only works if the vast majority of people are vaccinated, it doesn't work when there are a few or some people vaccinated."

Senator Carlucci says the government needs to do something about it now.

"The CDC is telling us 'hey, we have got to get a handle on these outbreaks or the measles will get a foothold and be a permanent problem with the results being disastrous,'" Carlucci said.

The proposed legislation would eliminate all non-medical exceptions for vaccinations.

"It is necessary for all that are physically able to receive the vaccination do so. this is the only way to protect the health of those who are unable to receive the life saving benefits," Day said.

Local health officials say immunization is a shared responsibility.

"There are people in our communities who can't be vaccinated," Laporte said. "Those who are undergoing chemo therapy treatment, those with compromised immune systems, those with cancer, those people can't be protected, so its up to us as a society to, if we can, be vaccinated to help protect those around us who can't be."

This year marks the 25th anniversary of National Infant Immunization Week, which highlights the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases.

This is also the 25th anniversary of the Vaccines For Children (VFC) program. The VFC program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to parents who might not be able to afford having their children vaccinated. Laporte says there are places in Onieda County that are a part of the VFC program. She says for help finding a local healthcare professional who participayes in the VFC prgram, contact your state health department or visit https://www.cdc.gov/features/vfcprogram/.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 395872

Reported Deaths: 32137
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City21636223140
Nassau419472185
Suffolk415381983
Westchester349801426
Rockland13623668
Orange10759478
Erie7427639
Dutchess4231151
Monroe3885273
Onondaga2909188
Albany2130121
Ulster181586
Oneida170897
Sullivan145548
Putnam133363
Niagara126288
Schenectady82437
Broome73658
Saratoga56114
Rensselaer55930
Columbia47437
Madison36017
Orleans28251
Ontario27533
Steuben26841
Warren26630
Greene26318
Fulton26124
Washington24614
Genesee2395
St. Lawrence2222
Oswego2063
Wayne1813
Tompkins1780
Herkimer1723
Chenango1485
Chemung1452
Tioga14324
Livingston1308
Chautauqua1297
Cattaraugus1246
Cayuga1202
Montgomery1194
Clinton1014
Wyoming955
Jefferson930
Delaware914
Otsego845
Seneca700
Allegany631
Schoharie580
Cortland480
Essex460
Yates466
Franklin330
Lewis300
Schuyler130
Hamilton60
Unassigned00
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