School superintendent: Vaccination law not hampering attendance

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School Superintendent Brian Doelger doesn’t believe the new state law mandating students be vaccinated in order to attend public, private or parochial schools in New York has any effect on Shelter Island’s enrollment.

In June the State Legislature passed and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law that prohibited parents from failing to meet the new mandates via a religious exemption.

Mr. Doelger was expecting 209 students Wednesday, compared with 217 at this time last year, but said he wouldn’t be surprised if, when all the numbers are tallied, this year’s enrollment will be close to last year’s.

Former superintendent Christine Finn said in June a few parents had questioned her about the new law on vaccinations. The only dispensation in New York State from getting the mandated vaccinations is to home-school a child.

The state law allows students to start classes, but they have 14 days before they must produce proof they’ve started the necessary immunizations, so it’s not as if students were going to be refused admittance on opening day, Mr. Doelger said.

Required immunizations under the new law are for diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, Varicella and meningococcal.

Preschool students must have vaccinations to avoid diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type B and pneumococcal disease.

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