Albion school district passes policy requiring immunizations for all students

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 August 2019 at 9:32 am

ALBION – The Albion school district has followed the state’s lead in requiring all students to be immunized and to no longer allow religious exemptions for vaccines.

The Albion Board of Education approved the new policy during its meeting on Monday. The district last school year had seven students out of the total enrollment of about 1,800 students opt out of immunizations due to religious reasons, said Michael Bonnewell, the district superintendent.

Those students need to get their vaccines or they won’t be allowed at school, under the new policy.

The only option for not being immunized is proof from a physician that certifies the vaccine is detrimental to the student’s health.

“Except for this exemption, the District may not permit a student lacking evidence of immunization to remain in school for more than 14 days, or more than 30 days for an out-of-state or out-of-country transferee who can show a good faith effort to get the necessary certification or other evidence of immunization,” according to the policy.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 13 signed legislation to end religious exemptions for vaccines, after one of its worst outbreaks of measles in years.

“The science is crystal clear: Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to keep our children safe,” Cuomo said in a statement after signing the legislation. “This administration has taken aggressive action to contain the measles outbreak, but given its scale, additional steps are needed to end this public health crisis. While I understand and respect freedom of religion, our first job is to protect the public health and by signing this measure into law, we will help prevent further transmissions and stop this outbreak right in its tracks.”

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