Thursday, 25 April, 2019


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

A child with measles Enlarge Image Shutterstock
Patty Aguilar | 13 April, 2019, 00:18

Agudath Israel of America is deeply concerned about the recent outbreak of measles and the threat it poses to communities around the country.

Among her daily battles - having to constantly repeat that the vaccine does not cause other diseases, that it does not lead to autism, and that the practice of using fetal tissue to produce the vaccine ended decades ago.

On Tuesday, the mayor declared a public health emergency requiring unvaccinated residents of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to get the vaccine or pay a potential $1,000 penalty.

The most recent tally by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 465 cases across the U.S.so far this year, two-thirds of them in NY state.

And yet the county has not skimped in throwing resources at the problem. "So, we don't want people going into medical facilities and potentially exposing others".

The county reminded residents that if they have not been vaccinated, they should contact their healthcare provider. For example, an outbreak in Washington state is linked to a community where only about 80% of children were properly vaccinated.

"When individuals are not vaccinated, there is a high likelihood of catching the disease", Sheffield said. A ideal storm of virulent anti-vaccine sentiment has taken hold in the United States in less than two decades - most commonly among those too young to remember the wrath of measles and other deadly diseases - that can be pinpointed to some of these factors: a fraudulent U.K. research study that linked autism with vaccines, the rise of uninformed and potentially risky social media chatter, and pockets of people who either don't believe measles is "as bad as we are told" or who desire natural, so-called alternative parenting styles. Sussman also represented a group of parents in suburban Rockland County who challenged the county executive's order barring unvaccinated children from indoor public spaces.

But a dozen parents of public school students sued the county, arguing that the measure was disproportionate to the danger, particularly as there have been no deaths to date.

Mandatory vaccination programmes have been implemented in Italy and in the state of NY.

The kids, who were not vaccinated, appear to have been exposed to measles in Rockland County and Brooklyn where there have been ongoing outbreaks.

Measles is highly contagious, and nine out of 10 people who are not immune and are exposed to measles will become infected.

He emphasizes that there are anti-vaccine proponents both in the Jewish community and elsewhere who invoke religion to justify themselves - but are motivated simply by their anti-vaccine convictions.

Instead, failure to vaccinate often is due to unfounded fears among people of all religions, cultures, ethnicities, and financial means.

"I know that parents may be afraid of getting their child vaccinated, but as a pediatrician, I know that getting vaccinated is far safer than getting measles", said NYC Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot, according to CBS News.

"It's like the clock has been turned back - it's insane!" Refusing vaccines is not a doctrine of the Jewish Orthodox, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, or any other religious community. The result is that 95.6 percent of Utah children from kindergarten to 12th grade are adequately immunized against measles, according to a 2018 report from the Utah Department of Health. She said people should call ahead and make arrangements.

"We all share the same roads, we share the same stores, we all have to interact with each other".

However, Jasey did not think New Jersey needed to follow New York City's lead on the policy, noting, "I don't think we're at that point here".

"This is a country that has an interesting relationship with religion - the country was founded by people seeking some kind of religious liberties", Siepser said.

But the judge's decision on Friday in favor of the anti-vaccine forces complicates an already hard debate.

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