As measles cases rise, state considers removing religious exemptions for vaccinations

State News

The CDC says it has confirmed 839 cases of the measles so far this year, the highest number in 25 years.

The majority of the outbreaks are centered in New York State, primarily among groups that claim a religious exemption to vaccinating their kids.

Largest among them are Orthodox Jewish communities. We spoke to the principal of the Derech Hatorah School in Rochester, who argued the problem isn’t really about religion.

“I can’t speak for other religions but I feel comfortable speaking for the Jewish religion to say there is no such thing as Jewish religious exemption,” said principal Leah Goldstein. “It doesn’t exist. It’s not a religious issue per say if a parent decides not to vaccinate for whatever reason, that’s a personal exemption.”

Goldstein added that her school, like many, has taken a stricter stance against religious exemptions since the measles outbreak started.

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