HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- On Monday, lawmakers voted on a bill that would end religious vaccine exemptions for public school students.
The Public Health Committee voted 14-11 to approve the bill to eliminate religious vaccine exemptions.
This follows last week’s public hearing where lawmakers heard 22 hours of testimony from hundreds of people.
On Monday, close to 1,000 people turned out, and a woman from New York was even arrested for causing a disturbance.
On Monday afternoon, an amendment was passed that would grandfather in current exemptions.
"It's not perfect and I don't agree with some of the amendments, but we are moving forward and that's what it's about," said Amy Pasani, Vaccinate Your Family.
According to a recent report, more than 100 schools in Connecticut fall below the 95 percent vaccination threshold health experts say is key to protect people with weak immune systems.
Health experts say parents shouldn’t be concerned about the science.
“No medical product is more extensively tested then vaccines, there's a really high bar for vaccine safety studies,” said Linda Niccolai, professor of epidemiology at Yale University.
Last year, 2.3 percent of kindergartners had religious exemptions for vaccines in the state.
The Connecticut Department of Health said close to 8,000 public school children are not vaccinated, with parents using the religious exemption and the number of religious exemptions has tripled.
"These are little children entering school where we know that there are tons of diseases that are passed by children," said Av Harris, CT Department of Public Health.
The medical community said we shouldn't wait for an epidemic.
"We have seen diseases that were devastating that killed thousands of people every year, eradicated from the face of the earth. Nobody talks about smallpox anymore, nobody talks about polio anymore in the U.S.," said Av Harris, of the Dept. of Public Health.
Some parents object to vaccines on religious grounds.
Others are worried about negative impacts.
“If they start with the children, then the next thing it's going to be for employment, for airlines, for whatever else they put on the list,” said Robert Brassel, of Seymour.
Some parents have also said they will leave Connecticut if lawmakers pass the bill.
All of the Republicans on the committee, as well as two Democrats, voted against the bill.
While the bill has passed in the Public Health Committee, it will now need to go to the House and Senate.