Lawyer: Challenge to NYC’s vaccination order in the works

13 April, 2019, 00:17 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • A nurse prepares the measles mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department recently

A public health emergency has been declared in NY in the U.S. due to a growing outbreak of measles.

Since December, the NYC Health Department has ordered yeshivas and day care programs serving the Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg to exclude unvaccinated students. Mr. Sussman told local NY media that he hoped to file a lawsuit by Friday. "It is safe, it is effective, it is time-tested".

Measles is a highly contagious virus that causes fever, rash, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. Those personal rights, however, at some point in time cross over and impact the rights of others.

Mayor Bill de Blasio issued mandatory measles vaccination to people living in or near Williamsburg.

Civil rights attorney Michael Sussman called the order "an overreach of authority" and said a lawsuit challenging it will be filed this week. A state judge sided with the parents and issued a preliminary injunction against the emergency order last week.

The outbreak has largely been concentrated in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn. Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine, or have had a lab test confirming immunity.

De Blasio said Tuesday that he was confident New York City's vaccination order would survive any legal challenge. "And they may spread measles to people who can not get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions". "And the reason the city government is empowered in a public health emergency is to save lives".

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"People who are unvaccinated for any reason, including those who refuse vaccination, risk getting infected with measles and spreading it to others", the CDC reports in a frequently asked questions article. People can spread measles before they even know they are sick. The change is contained in an amendment to a bill they had previously introduced to tighten the state's vaccination policy; lawmakers approved the revised plan in January, despite passionate testimony from people concerned about the push to reduce parental choice. "They have experience gaining people's trust". Additionally, the CDC explains that sometimes people are unable to receive the MMR vaccine and become susceptible to infection during outbreaks among unvaccinated communities.

"I urge everyone, especially those in affected areas, to get their MMR vaccines to protect their children, families and communities", de Blasio said in a statement. "I took my daughter to the doctor to get all the vaccines when she was young, it's really important".

"As a society we've said we'll allow a little bit of flexibility in our laws in order to give people a wider berth to exercise their personal beliefs", Indiana University public health law professor Ross D. Silverman recently told Wired magazine. "But we're also trying to help everyone understand there is urgency here".

The city believes an estimated 1,800 children in Williamsburg were not immunized as of December. Advocates say no one should be forced to take the vaccine because of the side effects that could have long-lasting impacts.

Latimer said people who have been vaccinated need not worry about contracting the virus.

A CDC report states that the USA had a notifiable measles outbreak in 1912, resulting in around 6,000 deaths every year, until scientists developed the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in 1963.

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