Vaccine Exemptions for Religious Reasons May Face Stricter Guidelines in N.J.


by Honey Berk (Subscribe to Honey Berk’s posts)
Mar 16th 2011 3:30PM

With the autism-vaccine connection disproved last year, you would think fewer parents would be objecting to having their children vaccinated.

Yet, the resurgence of serious, preventable illnesses — including whooping cough and meningitis — is testament to the fact that even greater numbers are seeking exemption from vaccines for their children.

But parents who seek an exemption from vaccinations for their children based upon religious reasons would have to comply with stricter guidelines under a new bill that passed the New Jersey state Senate March 15, reports.

The bill, approved by a vote of 6 to 1, would require parents to attest that vaccination requirements conflict with the student’s “bona fide” religious practices or principles.

“By adding the words ‘bona fide,’ we certainly would be suggesting that you should not use the religious exemption just as an excuse,’ ” the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, tells “The overall aim of this bill is to get children immunized.”

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