New York is ending religious exemptions for vaccines amid measles outbreak

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Ny. (CBS) — Amid the ongoing measles outbreak, New York lawmakers approved a bill Thursday that will require all children attending school or daycare to receive vaccinations. Gov. Andrew Cuomo quickly signed the bill into law, to take effect immediately. 

The Senate voted 36-26 and the Assembly voted 77-53. The only exception to the new legislation is for children who cannot be safely vaccinated due to a medical condition. Religious exceptions will no longer be permitted.

“The science is crystal clear: Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to keep our children safe,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This administration has taken aggressive action to contain the measles outbreak, but given its scale, additional steps are needed to end this public health crisis.

The legislation comes as the country faces one of the worse measles outbreaks in a generation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of new measles cases this year has exceeded 1,000 in 28 states — the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1992 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.

The states that have reported cases to the CDC are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington.

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