NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A943
SPONSOR: Abinanti (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
enacting the "philosophical exemption to immunizations act"
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill establishes an exemption
from immunizations required for school aged children based on personal
objections of a philosophical nature.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Subdivision 6 of sections 2164 and
2165 is amended to provide a means for applicants who declare "personal
objections" to immunization to be exempt, utilizing the existing form
originally instituted in this subdivision. The consent form is to be
amended to accommodate an affirmation of "personal objections" to immun-
ization, as more fully described in the bill.
Subdivision 9 of sections 2164 and 2165 is amended to introduce the
"personal objection" waiver, alongside the existing medical and reli-
JUSTIFICATION: Currently, in order for a child to attend school the
parent must establish that the child has received the legislatively
mandated vaccines, or is exempt based on an approved religious or
While parents may not meet the detailed requirements for a religious or
medical waiver for their children they may non-the-less object to immun-
izations for many reasons, including health and safety concerns.
Today, a child is subjected to approximately 39 doses of vaccines by the
age of six years.
Legitimate concerns exist regarding the role vaccinations play in child-
hood disorders and diseases.
Nineteen states currently allow philosophical exemptions for those who
object to immunizations because of personal beliefs.
This bill affords parents the right to evaluate the benefits and risks
of immunizations for their children and to determine whether immuniza-
tions are appropriate for their child.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2013-14: A.6359 referred to health; same as
S.3934 referred to health; 2011-12: S.1331; 2009-10: S.2377/A.4886;
2007-08: S.3031/A.5468; 2005-06: S.305; 2003-04: S.695/A.10326; 2001-02:
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
January 8, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. ABINANTI, COLTON, KOLB, CLARK -- Multi-Sponsored
by -- M. of A. ARROYO, McDONOUGH, THIELE -- read once and referred to
the Committee on Health
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to enacting the
"philosophical exemption to immunizations act"
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "philosoph-
2 ical exemption to immunizations act".
3 § 2. Subdivision 6 of section 2164 of the public health law, as
4 amended by chapter 189 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as
6 6. In the event that a person in parental relation to a child makes
7 application for admission of such child to a school or has a child
8 attending school and there exists no certificate or other acceptable
9 evidence of the child's immunization against poliomyelitis, mumps,
10 measles, diphtheria, rubella, varicella, hepatitis B, pertussis, teta-
11 nus, and, where applicable, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and
12 pneumococcal disease, the principal, teacher, owner or person in charge
13 of the school shall inform such person of the necessity to have the
14 child immunized, that such immunization may be administered by any
15 health practitioner, or that the child may be immunized without charge
16 by the health officer in the county where the child resides, if such
17 person executes a consent therefor and provide a form citing other
18 options of compliance as noted in this section. In the event that such
19 person does not wish to select a health practitioner to administer the
20 immunization, [he or she shall be provided with a form which] the
21 provided form shall give notice that as a prerequisite to processing the
22 application for admission to, or for continued attendance at, the school
23 such person shall state a valid reason for withholding consent, or check
24 a fixed statement pre-printed on the form indicating his or her personal
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 943 2
1 objection to immunizations, medical testing and treatments or consent
2 shall be given for immunization to be administered by a health officer
3 in the public employ, or by a school physician or nurse. The form shall
4 provide for the execution of a consent by such person and it shall also
5 state that such person need not execute such consent if subdivision
6 eight or nine of this section apply to such child.
7 § 3. The opening paragraph of subdivision 8-a of section 2164 of the
8 public health law, as amended by chapter 189 of the laws of 2006, is
9 amended to read as follows:
10 Whenever a child has been refused admission to, or continued attend-
11 ance at, a school as provided for in subdivision seven of this section
12 because there exists no certificate provided for in subdivision five of
13 this section or other acceptable evidence of the child's immunization
14 against poliomyelitis, mumps, measles, diphtheria, rubella, varicella,
15 hepatitis B, pertussis, tetanus, and, where applicable, Haemophilus
16 influenzae type b (Hib) and pneumococcal disease, or other evidence of
17 compliance as noted in this section, the principal, teacher, owner or
18 person in charge of the school shall:
19 § 4. Subdivision 9 of section 2164 of the public health law, as sepa-
20 rately amended by chapters 405 and 538 of the laws of 1989, is amended
21 to read as follows:
22 9. This section shall not apply to children whose parent, parents, or
23 guardian hold personal objections or genuine and sincere religious
24 beliefs which are contrary to the practices herein required, and no
25 certificate of immunization, medical tests and treatments shall be
26 required as a prerequisite to such children being admitted or received
27 into school or attending school.
28 § 5. Subdivision 6 of section 2165 of the public health law, as added
29 by chapter 405 of the laws of 1989, is amended to read as follows:
30 6. In the event that a student registers at an institution and has not
31 complied with subdivision two of this section, the institution shall
32 inform such student of the necessity to be immunized, that such immuni-
33 zation may be administered by any health practitioner, or that the
34 student may be immunized without charge by the health officer in the
35 county where the student resides or in which the institution is located,
36 and provide a form citing the other options of compliance as noted in
37 this section. In the event that such student does not comply with this
38 section, he or she shall be given notice that attendance at the institu-
39 tion requires immunization unless a valid reason is provided by such
40 student pursuant to subdivision eight or nine of this section or unless
41 such student has checked a fixed statement pre-printed on the form indi-
42 cating a personal objection to immunizations, medical testing and treat-
44 § 6. Subdivision 9 of section 2165 of the public health law, as added
45 by chapter 405 of the laws of 1989, is amended to read as follows:
46 9. This section shall not apply to a person who holds personal
47 objections or genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary
48 to the practices herein required, and no certificate of immunization,
49 medical tests and treatments shall be required as a prerequisite to such
50 person being admitted or received into or attending an institution.
51 § 7. This act shall take effect immediately.