Ryan proposes linking child vaccinations to tax breaks

Feb 6, 2015

With an outbreak of measles reported in 14 states, Assemblyman Sean Ryan is proposing legislation that would require a child to be vaccinated before a parent can receive their child dependent tax deduction.

"New York State now requires eight vaccines for children to be allowed to attend public school. Eligibility for the child dependent deduction will be based on parents certifying that their children are certified in all eight of these vaccines," said Ryan at a news conference Friday.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan and Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein talked about the importance of childhood vaccinations at a news conference Friday.
Credit Eileen Buckley/WBFO News

Ryan pointed to a recent poll that found 21 percent of parents ages 18 to 29 believe vaccines cause autism. He calls it a "cultural shift" of fearing vaccines are not safe.

"I'm confident, if this legislation is signed into law, we can reverse the trend we see now of a downward cycle of immunizing your child," Ryan said.

There are two confirmed reported cases of measles in New York State. Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein this week stressed the importance of vaccinations, saying they are proven to be safe. 

"We know that these vaccines that are available protect against deadly diseases," said Burstein, standing alongside Ryan on Friday.

Burstein calls Ryan's proposal a "novel approach."