New emergency vaccination rules have some parents worried about upcoming school year

Posted: Updated:

The number of measles cases are on the rise again as New York parents deal with new emergency rules about religious exemptions from vaccinations.

A Community Health and Vaccine Education workshop, hosted by Good Samaritan Hospital, was held Monday night at the West Islip Library. There was a heated debate between those for and those against vaccinations.

"I want every child to grow up safe and healthy, and I think that's the common goal -- vaccines save lives," said Mary Koslap-Petraco, pediatric nurse practitioner.

"There are ingredients that can be harmful, so we need to have a conversation about this," said Rita Palma.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on June 13 removing non-medical exemptions for vaccinations.

According to the CDC, the number of measles cases has reached 1,203 nationwide.

New York state issued emergency regulations Friday that strengthened the process for a doctor to grant a vaccine exemption. Physicians would have to fill out a medical exemption form and provide the specific medical reason that prevents a child from being vaccinated.

Some parents at the meeting say that's not fair.

"Parents are backed into a corner. Medical exemptions are virtually impossible to get in the state of New York," said Palma.

Children who are not previously vaccinated will have 14 days from the first day of school to receive a vaccination. If they do not get the vaccinations, school officials are required to refuse to admit the child to school.

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