Picente & Ellis Statement in Support of Repeal of Non-Medical Vaccination Exemptions

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.: “Vaccinations are essential to the health of every resident in Oneida County. We must do all we can to stop preventable diseases from gaining a foothold in our community, so I am happy to see that New York State has taken the measure to protect the public by eliminating non-medical exemptions.

“As we have seen throughout the state and nation, the consequences of failing to immunize can be deadly. I urge all who are medically able to listen to our public health officials and be immunized so that we can stop senseless and unnecessary outbreaks from occurring.”

Oneida County Director of Health Phyllis D. Ellis, BSN, MS, F.A.C.H.E.: “New York State’s action to eliminate non-medical exemptions from vaccination will go a long way in protecting infants, children, adolescents and adults from preventable diseases, especially since New York is at the center of the current measles outbreak.

“As public health educators and advocates, we work daily to encourage all individuals who can be immunized to get immunized. I applaud the state’s commitment to protect the public at large, as well as those individuals who cannot be immunized due to medical reasons.

“Vaccines, one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions, have saved countless lives and are responsible for preventing more than 2.5 million deaths each year. We are now experiencing the greatest number of measles cases in the US. since the CDC declared the disease eliminated in 2000. Taking this step to further protect the public health is necessary to mitigate further spread of this disease and better protect all residents.”