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Lyndonville holds off on passing immunization policy for 2020-21

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 June 2020 at 11:21 am

Board member doesn’t want students to be ‘guinea pigs’ if new Covid-19 vaccine becomes available

LYNDONVILLE — The Board of Education decided to table a policy for 2020-21 that would require all students to have mandated immunizations.

The district this school year adopted a policy, following the state’s lead, that no longer allows religious exemptions for required vaccines. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed that bill last July, repealing religious exemptions for required vaccines.

The Lyndonville Board of Education on Monday was set to vote on the policy again, but board member Vern Fonda said he is concerned the state may require districts to have all students take a Covid-19 vaccine. That vaccine isn’t available yet.

Fonda said he is concerned there could be unknown ill-effects with that new vaccine, if it becomes available.

“I don’t want my children or children of my friends to be guinea pigs for the Covid-19 vaccine,” Fonda said during Monday’s meeting.

Other board members agreed to hold off on adopting the policy, to see if the state provides any direction on the issue.

The only accepted exemption now for students from immunizations is a valid medical reason where a doctor certifies that a vaccine may be detrimental to a child’s health.

For children without a valid medical exemption, they can remain in school for 14 days at the start of the school year, to give them time to provide evidence of the required immunizations. An out-of-county or out-of-state transferee has 30 days to provide the district with evidence of the mandated immunizations, according to the district policy.

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