N.J. bill would limit religious vaccine exemptions

By Nicole Leonard

It would be more difficult for New Jersey parents to get their children exempted from mandatory vaccines based on religious grounds if a new bill introduced Thursday becomes law.

Bill sponsor Assemblyman Herb Conaway, D-Burlington, who is also a licensed physician, brought forth the legislation at an Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee hearing packed with families and people opposing proposed tighter restrictions on religious exemption.

After several hours of testimony from those who supported and opposed the bill, the committee approved the measure that would require parents to provide several forms of proof as to why their children should qualify for a religious exemption to vaccines.

Conaway, who also chairs the health committee, said in a statement that exemptions must be limited to do what is best for the overall public health.

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