Democratic lawmakers ask state agency for vaccine guidance
HARTFORD — Connecticut legislative leaders have formally asked the state Department of Public Health to provide additional information and policy recommendations concerning vaccinations for schoolchildren, including whether the state should eliminate its religious exemption.
Four top Democratic leaders issued a letter Thursday requesting the additional guidance before the 2020 legislative session begins in February.
Democratic House Majority Leader Matt Ritter had hoped to hold a vote this year on possibly ending the religious exemption, given the uptick in measles cases around the country and the growing number of religious exemptions in Connecticut. He held off, saying more information was needed.
Lawmakers are asking the health department if the agency needs more authority to increase vaccination rates; how to protect students who can't be vaccinated for medical reasons; and how to handle unvaccinated students already enrolled.
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