In response to the measles outbreak downstate, lawmakers have proposed a bill that would require children, not having a medical exemption, to be fully immunized before attending any type of summer camp.
"Right now they're required to keep records, however it's up to each camp to decide who and what types of vaccinations they want to require," said Sen. David Carlucci, who represents parts of Rockland County, an area affected by the outbreak.
The bill would require campers to be immunized against over 10 different diseases, including measles and pertussis.
It mirrors a mandate put into effect in several downstate counties, requiring campers to be immunized for the coming summer. It would also eliminate religious exemptions, similar to a proposal pertaining to school vaccination requirements.
"It is a really small handful for us," said BSA Seneca Waterways Council CEO Stephen Hoitt. "But there is a number of families who take that, fill out their religious declaration form and we accept that at this point."
Regulated camps, like those run by Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts and the YMCA are all monitored by the state health department. All require immunization records and a physical exam completed within 12 months of the camp session.
"Health and safety of the entire group is really the number one priority for us," said Hoitt. "We've always taken the stance to review every kid’s medical record on the way in and make sure that we're properly prepared as a result of it."
The proposed bill would not go into effect until this October.