On Thursday, New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation into law which eliminates religious exemptions for childhood vaccinations in New York.
"The science is crystal clear: Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to keep our children safe,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This administration has taken aggressive action to contain the measles outbreak, but given its scale, additional steps are needed to end this public health crisis."
The signing of the new legislation comes as the U.S. faces one of its worst measles outbreaks in decades, according to The Hill:
New York City has reported 588 cases of measles since last September. The New York Department of Health has said that there are 336 confirmed cases elsewhere in the state.
Many of the cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community, many of whom have invoked religious exemptions to stop a child from receiving a measles vaccine.
Though the bill no longer allows religious exemptions, medical exemptions are still valid.