HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Public health experts are warning Connecticut lawmakers against becoming complacent with the state’s high vaccination rate, saying clusters of unvaccinated students pose a public health risk.
Linda Niccolai, an epidemiology professor at Yale School of Medicine, says Connecticut “right now is really at risk for outbreaks” given new Department of Public Health data that show more than 100 schools have vaccination rates below federally recommended guidelines.
Niccolai is among a group of invited speakers appearing Monday at an informational legislative hearing on Connecticut’s religious exemption from vaccinations for schoolchildren. Some lawmakers have proposed eliminating the exemption, given the uptick in measles cases across the country.
There have been three measles cases so far in Connecticut.
Monday’s hearing is packed with parents who are concerned about the safety of childhood vaccines.