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New concerns about measles surface in Western New York

Some parents are not immunizing their children for medical concerns or religious beliefs.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — There is an isolated cluster of young people with measles in Rochester.

Some parents are opting out of immunizing their children for medical concerns or religious beliefs.

Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County Health Commissioner, says "the number of religious exemptions has increased rapidly over the last five to 10 years, and we have to ask ourselves, has religion changed that rapidly in the last five or 10 years?"

Thirty states allow religious exemptions. There is a push to remove the religious exemption in New York State.

"I would hope the only reason for people choosing not to get immunized is because of medical contradictions. It's not just about the individual, it's about the whole community," according to Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein.

While nothing is 100 percent, Dr. Burstein says the measles vaccine is very effective. After one dose it's 93 percent effective.

There was a measles case in Erie County at the end of 2017.

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