Parents begin to receive immunization notices before upcoming school year

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Notices are going out across Long Island regarding immunization requirements for public and private schools.

It comes after a controversial change to state law that now says children must receive vaccinations regardless of religious beliefs.

Jacquelyn Herig, of Lindenhurst, told News 12 that she doesn't know what she's going to do come the start of the school year.

"It was one of the worst days of my life, to think that I live in what is supposed to be the freest country in the world and have my rights taken away," she says.

She says she's thinking about homeschooling her children or even moving out of state.

"You're asking me to choose between man's law and God's law,” says Herig. “How do you make that decision?"

Under the amended law, parents can opt out of vaccinations only if a licensed New York State physician certifies that there is a medical reason why the child should not be vaccinated.

School administrators on Long Island say they had to quickly respond to the new law. Bernadette Burns, the president of the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association, says many districts “composed a letter that we shared among ourselves to notify those parents who needed to address the issues with their children."

Melody Butler says her son has an auto-immune disease and is especially susceptible to getting sick. She says she and other parents with vulnerable children like hers are breathing a sigh of relief that the state now mandates students get their required vaccinations.

"I need to make sure he's going to school in a safe environment, and I don't have to worry that he's going to get sick with measles or chicken pox," she told News 12.


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