New York lawmakers want to make it illegal to refuse vaccines

Under the proposal, schools would be required to provide mandatory coverage for those vaccines that are not on a federally approved list. Those include many childhood vaccines.

Vaccines were made mandatory by the state health department beginning in 2014.

City health officials have been surveying districts in recent weeks to get their opinions about the proposal. Some local districts have been wary of adding more mandates to the health department’s annual vaccination report because it’s difficult to say which districts are already vaccinating enough. Schools and districts also have a financial incentive to push for vaccinations, because the costs of getting all students immunized could outweigh a requirement that some families can’t afford.

Under the measure, the city would extend that exemption to all residents beyond the students themselves to their families, landlords, nannies and others who are potentially affected by the vaccinations.

The proposal is supposed to be able to pass with a simple majority vote in the City Council, but some supporters are working to raise funds to run a non-partisan referendum campaign.

And despite some opposition in the Jewish community, New York City schools officials do not foresee any resistance from parents over the measure.

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