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Court Upholds NY State Vaccination Requirement

New York state’s requirement that children be vaccinated in order to attend state-funded schools does not violate parents’ religious rights under the U.S. Constitution, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.

From Reuters:

A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan also ruled that students who receive religious exemptions from the vaccination law may be kept out of school during disease outbreaks, affirming a lower court decision.

The 2nd Circuit rejected claims by three New York City parents who said the individual right to religious liberty granted by the First Amendment trumped the state’s goal of preventing the spread of diseases in schools.

The parents claimed that a growing body of evidence showed vaccines can do more harm than good.

“That is a determination for the legislature, not the individual objectors,” the court wrote.

Click here to continue reading at Reuters.


  • 1. non-gender wrote:

    What the Court stated was that this was another instance of “Yelling Fire in a crowded building.”

  • 3. Does it include the flu mandatory as well ? wrote:

    Vaccination – I understand , but flu vaccine – how it’s became a mandatory also ? Is it part of other des eases as well ? Thanks

    • 4. Milhouse wrote:

      Why do you care? Your children are not in public school anyway, so this is irrelevant to them.

    • 5. She wants to know wrote:

      It’s a fair question, let it be asked. Flu vaccine is not required but recommended. There are other vaccines that are mandatory for public schools. This year’s flu vaccine is not working as well as hoped apparently it mutated.

    • 7. Jewish PA wrote:

      The law this year (and enforced next year) does make the flu vaccine mandatory like the rest of the vaccine schedule.

    • 8. Milhouse wrote:

      The flu vaccine is only required for pre-K, and only for children under age 5.

      In any case, the DOE requirements are irrelevant to anyone who is not sending their kids to public school. For private schools, ask the school for its policy.

  • 9. sure helps wrote:

    It is a guessing game and this year’s flu type A shows it. I diagnosed too many flu patients who received the shot or mist that I cannot keep track.
    Almost like when Rotatek was put on the schedule and the pusher was the one holding the patent. The ones recommending them are involved a bit too much for legality but there is a law now that one can sit on any such boards but also paid by them.
    keep them coming but I’m moving out of this state.

  • 10. vaccine makes $$ wrote:

    Its a business. Makes lots off money and scares people. facts show how vaccinations causes autism and they try to fight it. The amount of children getting autism thees days is sceary. So much more then the days before. I agree we need some vaccinations but the more they push such as checkinpots. Etc is getting out of hand

    • 11. Milhouse wrote:

      You are a d—ned liar, and your lies are endangering people’s lives. There is NO LINK between vaccination and autism. None. Anyone who claims there is one is a liar and should be shunned by all decent people.

      And for your information, chicken pox can be fatal. The risk from the vaccine is orders of magnitude lower than the risk of not being vaccinated, and dying from the disease.

    • 12. Facts wrote:

      There is no link between autism and vaccines. Please research before making false alarmist posts. Autism is currently believed to be a result of environmental substances. We all need to work to make sure our food, water and products we use in our lives are as pure as possible. Some suggest a link bt flame retardants used in much of our furniture and other products, other suggest chemicals used on our food. I wish we had more farms that we grew our own food on in our community.

    • 13. Milhouse wrote:

      Autism is currently believed to be a result of environmental substances.

      Believed by whom? I suppose it’s possible but it’s just a wild guess. It’s far more likely to be caused, one way or another, by genetic factors.

    • 14. Anonymous wrote:

      The correlation between autism and vaccines was written by an individual who was proven false and lost his medical credentials. Even if it were true, would you prefer your child to be autistic or dead CH”V?

  • 15. vaccine makes $$ wrote:

    Not true thete is a connection. Do ur research like I did. Its all the $$. And convince u other wize

    • 17. There is no connection wrote:

      There have been hundreds of studies showing that vaccines do not cause autism and ONE that claimed it did. The author of that study had to retract it after being proven wrong and lost his medical credentials. Please don’t spread misinformation that could kill people.

  • 18. My body is not your buisness wrote:

    What does a vaccination have to do with any religion? Perhaps treifa dead virusus? maybe nevaila, but not non-kosher.

    But it DOES border violating peoples personal choices. Weather it “does” or “doesn’t” work is irrelivent: the point is that a governing body of humans are using their power to force humans to do something to their bodies.

    I don’t care if its anthrax: it’s not the governments business how I look after my health. In fact, its not my mother-in-law’s business either, nor is it the business of my head-shliach, my employer, my neighbor, or even my shadchan.

    If your argument is that I shouldn’t have a right to “be different than everybody else”, or that I am putting others in danger, well if that’s the case you have a right to ask me in a polite way, you can beg, plead, you can even reward me. But no governing body has any ethical or moral right to force me. My body and its medical needs are between myself and my physician.

    • 19. Milhouse wrote:

      1. Some people have a religious belief that vaccines are against the Creator’s wishes. Judaism does not agree with this, but there are other religions around, and there are people with crazy self-invented religions. The legal test is not whether there is an organized religion that teaches this, but whether the person sincerely believes it. So two of the petitioners in this case were Catholics who believe vaccines are wrong. The Catholic church disagrees with them, but that isn’t relevant; all that matters is that they believe it. The third petitioner is also Catholic, and also claims to believe this, but several layers of courts have determined that she’s lying.

      2. In this case the government is not forcing anyone to do anything. It is merely telling parents that if you don’t vaccinate your children they will not be welcome in its schools. It has no duty to admit anyone to its schools, so it can make whatever rules it likes for admission, so long as they have some rational basis.

      3. Actually the government is being nicer than that, and saying that if you have a genuine religious belief that vaccines are wrong it will allow your child to attend its schools — most of the time. But sometimes, when the danger is particularly high, your child will be told to stay home.

      4. All of that aside, it is long established in US law that the state or city government does have the right to force you to be vaccinated against contagious diseases, in order to protect the people around you. It gets this power from the same place as it gets the power to lock you up if you’re actually contagious — the general police power that all states have by their very nature.

      5. Indeed it’s not the government’s business how you look after your health, but it is very much the government’s business how you look after everyone else’s health. It’s not about your body’s medical needs, but about everyone else’s, and that is not between you and your physician.

    • 20. Not necessarily wrote:

      The way vaccines today work is known as a “herd vaccine”. This means that since the majority are vaccinated, the few that cannot be (allergies or whatever other reason) are protected as well. Vaccines protect against contagious diseases, which you could spread to others if you aren’t vaccinated. What you do may be your business, but you don’t have the right to risk other people as a result.

  • 21. Sensibility wrote:

    When penicillin came out it saved many peoples lives. There was a reduction in the rate of scarlet fever (which can lead to rheumatic fever). The same goes for MMR, DPT. The effects of getting the disease is far greater than the vaccine in most cases (as we know, cases of deafness, sterility etc. in some who contracted Mumps or Measles). Now that many people stopped vaccinating their kids, many of these diseases resurfaced. Are we going back to the olden days?
    It would be sensible perhaps, not to give all immunizations at one sitting and obviously not when your child is under the weather. The Rebbe always told people to follow the advice of a doctor , whom Hashem has given the power to heal, (especially a friend a doctor), and not make all determinations on our own.

    • 22. rebel wrote:

      You are %100 correct regarding the importance of relying on a physician, not on the latest trend of a Nishei article.

      But that can be taken a step too far when a government uses force to compel citizens to comply with their doctors.

      I’d gladly work it out with my own doctor who Hashem has given the power to heal. All I’d ask is that my medical records remain between myself and him, not in the hands of his insurance policy, his government, my extended family, the bungalow colony, my school, etc. I just think it’s not their business, that’s all.

  • 23. rebel wrote:

    Millhouse, if governments should have the responsibility to look after the public’s health, what is your position regarding the government’s involvement in MBP?

    • 24. Milhouse wrote:

      1. There is no significant risk
      2. If there were a risk it would be to us, not to the public, so the government ought to respect our religious liberty.

      3. The main reason the government ought to leave milah alone is because we will keep it whether they allow it or not. Antiyochus, Hadrian, and Stalin couldn’t stop us, so how could they? The only way they can possibly try to stop it would be by taking measures that they really don’t want to take, so they’re far better off not going there.

    • 25. Milhouse wrote:

      MBP poses no threat at all the public. Even if all their wild allegations were correct (and they’re not), there would be no risk to anyone outside our community.

  • 26. rebel wrote:

    I forgot to mention, Millhouse, thanks for the fine points you made in #19.

    I still feel that even if a government had the right/responsibility to protect others from a an individual who poses a danger, that danger would at least have to be a verified danger before placing the carrier in shackles.

    • 27. Milhouse wrote:

      The danger from measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, diphtheria, and all those other diseases they require public school students to be vaccinated for is indeed verified and significant. They would be irresponsible to let their students be exposed to unvaccinated children.

      However they also respect religion, and they figure that very few people really have a religious objection to vaccination (since none of the major religions have any such objection, so it’s just Witnesses, Xian Scientists, and a few individual weirdos), so at times when the risk isn’t so high they allow these few people to skate. When the risk is high, they say please keep your child home until the emergency is over.

      That’s very different from MBP, where the government is attempting to insert itself into a situation that’s explicitly religious, where there’s no verfied risk even to ourselves, and certainly none to the general public.


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