Judge Lawrence Knipel has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a group of parents who wanted to lift New York’s new measles vaccination order.
Earlier this week, five parents who wish to remain anonymous, filed the lawsuit against the city health department for requiring mandatory vaccinations in parts of Brooklyn after a growing outbreak of the measles virus in the area. The parents accused the city of being irrational and said that the spread of the virus wasn’t dangerous to the public health.
New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot issued the emergency order on April 9, ordering that everyone who lives and works within four Brooklyn zip codes to get vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella if they hadn’t done so already. Those who don’t comply with order may face criminal charges.
The measles outbreak has affected at least 329 people since October, mainly kids from Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn. Some people in this communities went against getting vaccinated.
“A fireman need not obtain the informed consent of the owner before extinguishing a house fire,” Judge Lawrence Knipel wrote in his ruling. “Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion.”
Barbot supported the judge’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit. She said that it “will protect New Yorkers from a very dangerous infection with potentially fatal consequences.”