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.

RELATED: Huge turnout seen at vaccine exemption hearing, opponents rally outside

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. 

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(25) comments

DOGSRGRT

I am glad this passed and we need all children vaccine no excuses at all. It is for the safety of everyone. This people that don't want to vaccinate their kids are living in make believe world. Good they can all stop working and home school them then. We don't need them in our schools at all.

FreedomRings

Sign this doggie up as first recipient to trial Corona virus vaccine. Seems willing to donate everyone else's child to the greater good. No excuses, Doggie.

alikats123

For all of the pro vaxxers who believe vaccines will bring them health you are terribly wrong. A vaccinated person is just as likely to carry the germ they are vaccinated for and infect anyone. The vaccine does not eradicate the germ from the body. It may even mutate within the body. This is a liability free product that causes people harm at a rate of 1/39 doses. With the billions of pathogens out there how is anyone going to protect anyone else with 16 vaccines and even with adding the 271 in the pipeline. All health is individual not public and each individual has to protect their own bodies by boosting their own immune systems. Vaccines are a $50 billion dollar industry and pharma is behind all these mandates either through brainwashing or bribery.

rick be

So true,these people are living in abject fear,Big Pharma has them hypnotized and our legislators paid off.

Well Educated Liberal

GOOD! This is why we live in a blue state. Well educated people making rational decisions. Now let's pass a bill to ban xtianity. Send them all to their promised land, texass. They'll be at home living in trailers with the rest of the unvaccinated toothless hillbillies. You lose again, repukes!

#Sanders/Buttigieg2020 #OkBoomer #HillaryisMYPresident #I'mStillWithHer #neverdrumpf #resist #impeach #LockHimUp #FreedomFromReligion #BanAllGuns #PositivelyBlue #VoteBlueNoMatterWho

ComingThrough

Does your live in nurse help you type these up?

rick be

Haha

RG

Religion has nothing to do with vaccinations. It's been a disingenuous excuse all along. These very same irrational people who are against vaccines have no problem at all taking antibiotics or other medications when they need them. So why the objection to vaccines? It's absurd.

sp-pp

When several of the vaccines not only are made from fetal tissue (from murdered babies) but also have been analyzed to have DANGEROUS DNA elements (or dirty DNA fragments as they're called), this practice is troubling to some of the most distinguished scientists. Numerous have come forward with serious warnings. The sad thing is when the companies that make the vaccines have zero liability regardless of the issue or injury, these companies' ethics get swallowed up by Greed. Safety has nothing to do with their process anymore. Heck, just look at how many lawsuits and cases where Merck and others are found guilty and have to pay out millions. Problem is, this is all factored in to their overall equation. They knew there were safety issues with the Rx drug but released it to market anyway. The fines from any lawsuit pale in comparison to the overall profits. Sick!

Regarding religion....you can believe all that you want to. But when a person believes that murdering a baby is MURDER and then takes issue with aborted fetal tissue being injected into their body....that is 100% against their belief system/religion.

Your argument re: antibiotics/other meds doesn't apply.

Logicandreason101

Yeah, you are going to need to cite your sources of the fetal tissue ingredients.

RG

Murder is a legal term and murdering babies is ILLEGAL. Your argument is just like your religion, a bold faced lie. Nobody is forcing you to vaccinate either. Home schooling is your alternative.

rick be

In NY & VA it has become legal to destroy the child if it emerges alive.

There are private schools and more will spring up.This could kill "public schools",at least I hope so.

Logicandreason101

You, sir, are correct.

rick be

Two completely different things,RG.

Ohbilly

So when children in public schools inevitably end up sick because your unvaccinated child is allowed to attend, do you imagine those parents who have elected to give the medically proven vaccinations to their kids will not sue the pants off of the school system? It doesn't take a legal expert to see the ****storm that will ensue.

Shall Not Be Infringed

And just how do you suppose that an unvaccinated will make your vaccinated child sick? And if you were to bring a suit with the above in mind, your case will have no merit and thus no storm. Unless of course it's because you don't believe in big pharma's science either.

Logicandreason101

What if one of those unvaccinated children gets sick and passes it off to a child with a weakened immune system that couldn't get the vaccine? Seems you are ok with infringing on some rights but not others.

007

If your child is vaccinated from specific diseases, how would they be sickened of those diseases by an unvaccinated child?

sp-pp

There is zero evidence that any of these outbreaks have been started by unvaccinated children. What the evidence does show is that Universities where outbreaks have occurred, have affected vaccinated students. What does that tell you? If the vaccines work, why are the vaccinated students falling ill? And why wouldn't these outbreaks occur in unvaccinated populations? Again, people need to wake up and start adding 2 + 2. It does equal 4.

rick be

Big Pharma is behind all this.

rick be

Measles is no problem,a little sweating some red spots that are good for a few laughs with friends AND three days off school-YIPPEE!

Logicandreason101

If your choice endangers someone else's child, you are wrong.

Shall Not Be Infringed

If you think an unvaccinated child will get your vaccinated child sick, you're wrong.

Josiemax

Actually not all vaccinated people will develop an immune response to the vaccine and there are children on immunosuppressive drugs for a variety of illnesses cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, various rheumatologist illnesses etc and these children will have decreased immunity even though they were immunized

Logicandreason101

Josie, you can't, clearly, use logic and reason on some people. I understand your point, SNBI doesn't.

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