FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FEBRUARY 19, 2020 CONTACT: Amy Dowell | Amy@edreformnow.org
Education Reform Now CT Testifies
in Favor of Immunization Bill
February 19, 2020 -- Education Reform Now CT, a local think tank and policy advocacy group which has helped lead Connecticut’s efforts to eliminate the religious exemption for immunizations, today testified in favor of HB 5044, An Act Concerning Immunizations. The bill would remove Connecticut’s religious exemption while preserving the exemption for medical conditions, and would also mandate that the state Department of Health release school-by-school immunization data each year.
In their testimony, ERN CT pointed to recent 2018-19 school-level data showing that 134 Connecticut schools fall below federal guidelines for establishing herd immunity. Connecticut was also one of many states to see incidences of measles in 2019.
“A safe and healthy classroom is a precondition of learning, and parents expect that when they drop off their children at a public school, their kids will be protected from preventable disease,” said Amy Dowell, State Director of Education Reform Now CT. “When we don’t vaccinate enough of our population, we expose our children to communicable diseases and dangerous illnesses such as measles.”
Dowell observed that there is a correlation between religious exemptions and reduced vaccination levels, pointing to data showing that as vaccination levels for kindergarteners have dropped, religious exemptions have also increased at the same rate. She also highlighted a recent poll showing that 77% of Democratic primary voters in Connecticut believe the religious exemption to vaccination requirements should be eliminated.
Continued Dowell, “Connecticut families have a right to know that when their children attend our schools—especially our public ones—they are safe from the spread of dangerous and preventable diseases. The health and safety of our children requires our elected officials to take action. Like speed limits and bans on smoking in public places, legislators should use their authority to pass legislation to shield the general public from harm.”
Amy’s full testimony, submitted to the legislature, can be found here.
About Education Reform Now CT
The state chapter of a national organization and affiliate of DFER CT, Education Reform Now CT is a 501(c)(3) that operates as a think tank and policy advocate, promoting great educational opportunities and achievement for all by increasing equity, protecting civil rights, and strengthening the social safety net.