Opponents of Childhood Vaccines Express Concerns Over Law Change

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTIC) - Lawmakers have heard objections to a bill that would make a slight change in Connecticut's law allowing parents to exempt their children from getting vaccines based on religious objections.

Opponents of childhood vaccines presented a number of reasons for their objections, ranging from religious beliefs to freedom of choice. Some also fear the measure will lead to banning religious exemptions.

State Rep. Liz Linehan, who supports the bill, says vaccines protect schoolchildren. 

"Herd immunity is essential. And as we see vaccination rates declining across the country, we want to make sure that every child that wants to get vaccinated does."

The measure would take school nurses off the list of those authorized to acknowledge a parent's signature on an exemption form, and add clergy members to the list. 

Linehan says she's heard from nurses who are reluctant to sign the form, because it goes against their training.