Five parents have filed a lawsuit in response to an emergency order issued last week by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration declaring a public health emergency and requiring all residents within certain Brooklyn zip codes to be vaccinated against measles or face a $1,000 fine. According to news reports, the action was filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court against the New York City Department of Health, and alleges that the order exceeds the powers of the Public Health Commissioner. It also claims that the City’s measures are too drastic in light of its reasons for issuing the order. A judge denied the parents’ request for an emergency injunction yesterday, but the parties will appear in court on Thursday.
The City’s order was issued following the confirmation of 329 cases of measles in New York City since last fall. The cases have largely occurred within the ultra-orthodox Jewish community, and the City has closed a preschool serving the Williamsburg area in an effort to contain the outbreak. So far no deaths have resulted from the epidemic, but 25 people have been hospitalized.
Measles Outbreak: Yeshiva’s Preschool Program is Closed by New York City Health Officials, The New York Times, April 15, 2019
Parents sue over city’s mandatory measles vaccination order, The New York Post, April 15, 2019
Order of the Commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, April 9, 2019
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