Senator Biaggi and the senate majority take action on measles outbreak


Editor’s note: This press release was provided by Maya Moskowitz, press secretary for NYS senator Alessandra Biaggi.

ALBANY, NY – Today Senator Alessandra Biaggi and the Senate Democratic Majority passed legislation that will combat the ongoing measles epidemic and protect the health of New York’s most vulnerable residents. This legislative package is in response to the most significant measles outbreak in over 25 years. The measles was officially declared eliminated in 2000, thanks to a highly effective vaccination campaign. Unfortunately, there has been a recurrence of the measles, particularly among unvaccinated individuals, which threatens the health of New York residents. To address this epidemic, the Senate Majority advanced bills to end religious exemption excuses to vaccinations and to raise awareness about the safety of immunizations.

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx/Westchester), issued the following statement:

“When we rely on scientific fact, the conclusion is simple: vaccinations save lives. If everyone is vaccinated, then every New Yorker – from the youngest to the oldest – is protected from contracting life-threatening diseases. I am a strong supporter of this legislative package to expand vaccination requirements and awareness, because I am a strong supporter of keeping our communities safe and healthy.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 1,022 cases of measles in 22 states. As of June 10, there have been 588 confirmed cases in New York City and 334 confirmed cases of measles elsewhere in New York State, including 266 in Rockland County, 43 in Orange County, 18 in Westchester County, 7 in Sullivan County, 1 in Suffolk County and 1 in Greene County. This means that over 90% of measles cases in the United States are in New York State. This fact reinforces the need for state government to take decisive action to protect the health of New Yorkers.

The legislation passed by the Senate Democratic Majority includes:

  • Eliminating Religious Exemptions: This bill, S.2994-A, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, will repeal New York’s religious exemption for vaccination requirements.

  • Establishing the New York State Vaccination Awareness Campaign: This bill, S.5136-B, sponsored by Senator David Carlucci, will direct the state’s Department of Health to promote and maintain the New York State vaccination awareness campaign.

  • Modernizing the Definition of a Person in a Parental Relationship: This bill, S.4475, sponsored by Senator Velmanette Montgomery, will expand state law to recognize caregivers with lawful orders of custody as parents. This will empower tens of thousands of legal custodians throughout the state with the appropriate health, immunization, and education responsibilities essential for caregiving.