New Yorkers believe vaccines should be required despite religious objections

Poll finds 79% favor requirement; Erie County Health Commissioner not surprised

Mike Baggerman
March 18, 2019 - 2:08 pm

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - An overwhelming majority of people believe that children should be vaccinated in order to attend school, according to a poll released by Siena College on Monday.

The poll discovered that 79 percent of people believe that children should be vaccinated regardless of a parent's religious beliefs. It didn't matter whether a person polled was democrat or republican, male or female, lived in Upstate or Downstate New York, or even of different faiths, most people supported the measure.

For Erie County's Department of Health, it only confirmed what they already know about vaccines: They're effective.

"Unfortunately, vaccines are not 100 percent protective," Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein told WBEN. "Even though children may have been immunized, if they are exposed to one of these vaccine preventable diseases, there is a small chance they could become ill. We know that there are so many more children now who are in the school system that are immuno-compromised."

Up to 95 percent of children in schools have received all their required vaccines in Erie County, according to Burstein

Burstein said much of the buzz regarding the anti-vaccine movement comes from people on social media.

"There's really not that much we can tell them because they're not basing their beliefs on facts," Burstein said. "As a scientist and public health leader, all I can give them is facts that we will support the policy of all children in schools being immunized. Unfortunately, I can't address their beliefs based on fact."

Burstein recommends anyone with questions regarding vaccines visit the CDC website and the American Academy of Pediatrics.




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