Parents sue NYC over mandatory measles vaccinations

Five parents anonymously filed a lawsuit April 15 against the New York City Department of Health over the city's decision to make measles vaccinations mandatory for some zip codes, reports the New York Post.

The mandate was part of an April 9 emergency declaration in response to the city's ongoing measles outbreak, which has sickened 329 people since October 2018. The outbreak has primarily affected the area's Orthodox Jewish community, many of whom choose not to vaccinate their children.

The parents argue the outbreak is not severe enough to justify such "drastic emergency measures," according to the lawsuit. They also claim the mandate exceeds the health department commissioner's powers and violates their children's right to religious exemptions. The lawsuit is seeking a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction and a motion to vacate the city's orders, according to the New York Post.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the state health department is very confident about the legality of its mandate.

"When I announced it last Tuesday, I said that … this is something the [city] Law Department feels very strongly about and that everything that's been done here is fully within our legal rights," he said April 15, according to the New York Post.

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