NYS removes religious objection as a reason not to have children vaccinated

Here is the letter being sent to the parents of students who have had religious exemptions for vaccinations in the past as well as all entering pre-K and kindergarten students.


FROM: OESJ Superintendent Joseph Natale
TO: Parents and guardians
DATE: June 20, 2019
RE: Removal of religious exemption from vaccination requirements

With the worst outbreak of measles in more than 25 years taking place in the United States and in parts of New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 13 signed a bill into law that immediately removed the religious exemption for school vaccination requirements.

Therefore, for the 2019-2020 school year, students who were previously granted religious exemptions, must now receive certain immunizations as required by this new state legislation, unless the student’s parent can obtain a certification from a treating physician that the required immunization(s) would be detrimental to the child’s health.

Prior to the start of the 2019-2020 school year, absent a doctor’s certification, all students must receive or have received the following required immunizations: poliomyelitis, mumps, measles, diphtheria, rubella, varicella, hepatitis B, pertussis, tetanus, meningitis and, where applicable, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and pneumococcal disease. If children do not receive all of these required immunizations, they are not allowed to attend school.

If your child plans to attend a summer school program, (s)he must begin all of the required immunizations before they will be admitted.

Per the amendment to Public Health Law Section 2164, children who attend child daycare or public, private or parochial school who previously had a religious exemption must now receive their first age-appropriate dose in each immunization series by June 28, 2019, in order to remain in daycare or school.

Parents and/or guardians of these children must then show by July 14, 2019, that they have made appointments for all required follow-up doses in order to remain in daycare or school.

All other children who do not have their required immunizations face a deadline of 14 days from the start of school in the fall for their first dose vaccinations. Parents/guardians of these children must show within 30 days of the first day of school that appointments have been made for follow-up doses.

I hope that you will be attentive to the dates and deadlines contained in this letter. If you have any questions, please contact us at (518) 568-7280.

Joseph Natale,
OESJ Superintendent