Legislators who in recent weeks had accelerated efforts to repeal Connecticut’s religious exemption on mandatory immunizations reversed themselves Thursday, abandoning their quest amid concerns about what to do with unvaccinated children who are already enrolled in school.

The change would not have forced children to be immunized, but it would have prohibited kids who are not vaccinated on religious grounds from enrolling in the state’s public schools. A sticking point in the debate was whether children already attending school should be allowed to return, or if the ban should only apply to those who had not yet enrolled.

LeeAnn Ducat, the founder of Informed Choice USA, which has vehemently opposed the push to halt Connecticut’s exemption, said Thursday that despite this year’s win, activists would continue to fight.

“There are thousands of Connecticut families that are breathing a sigh of relief today after several days of anxiety and apprehension,” she said. “We are very grateful that lawmakers decided to handle this situation with the delicateness it deserves. Rushing it would have been detrimental.”

But, she said, “We will never go away. If they continue to bring this up, we will continue to come back. If they continue to push this, our numbers are only going to grow.”