Long Island parents protest vaccination law in Albany

Posted: Updated:

Hundreds of parents who chose not to vaccinate their kids took to the steps of the Education Department in Albany Monday.

They held a rally and stormed a Board of Regents meeting to demand they have the right to not vaccinate.

News 12 spoke with Rita Palma, from the New York chapter of the Children's Health Defense, via Skype. She is one of the many Long Island parents in Albany pleading with state officials to let their unvaccinated kids attend school.

The new state law ended religious exemptions back in June after a measles outbreak.

The law states that all children must start getting their vaccines within the first two weeks of school and have them completed by the end of the year. If they don't, they must be home-schooled.

"Families are traumatized about this," said Palma. "Families are upside down. They're moving out of state, selling their homes, people are trying to convert to home-schooling."

Pediatricians, like Michael Grosso at Huntington Hospital, say it's a serious issue and that kids need their vaccinations.

The parents of unvaccinated children say they will continue to fight and are hoping for an emergency measure that will allow their kids to stay in school.

There are at least 26,000 children in New York state who previously had obtained religious exemptions to vaccinations who are now facing this problem.

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