Measles Vaccine Mandate for NY Summer Camps Stalls

A Hudson Valley lawmaker wants to make the measles vaccine mandatory for all kids attending New York summer camps. The bill, however, remains without a sponsor, stalling its progress.

The bill, if passed, would make camp counselors and employees receive the vaccine as well.

“We are facing a public health crisis,” Rockland County Democratic Sen. David Carlucci said.

“This would mean mandatory vaccinations before a child attends summer camp.”

As things stand, parents who get religious or medical exemptions do not have to get their children the measles vaccine.

Manhattan Democratic Sen. Brad Hoylman has joined Carlucci’s effort in supporting a bill that forces the measles vaccine on summer camp kids. Lawmakers feel that summer camps are unprotected because no regulation exists. If the law were to pass, it would have large effects on both parents and the summer camps themselves. Summer camps are a popular seasonal destination for kids who are enjoying being off of school.

The bill needs a sponsor in the Assembly, something it currently lacks. Until this happens, the bill isn’t close to reality.

But getting a sponsor might not be far off considering Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s statements to WAMC radio.

I respect the religious exemption. I hear the anti-vaxxers, but public health comes first. I think it’s a mandate for public health that we pass that bill,” Cuomo told Chartock.

Cuomo is referencing a much broader bill for all public schools.

Carlucci’s bill can’t affect this season’s camp attendees. The earliest it could possibly be instituted would be October.

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