Brooklyn parents sue over measles vaccination mandate

A group of Brooklyn parents on Monday sued New York City over an emergency order requiring measles vaccinations, according to ABC News.

In the lawsuit, the parents seek a temporary restraining order argue that the New York City Department of Health’s emergency order was “arbitrary and capricious.”


Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) issued the order last week, requiring everyone over the age of 6 months who lives within ZIP codes associated with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn receive the measles vaccination. The order also applies to people who work or attend school in the area.

The plaintiffs argue there is “insufficient evidence of a measles epidemic or dangerous outbreak to justify" the order and that the city has not taken the least-restrictive measures possible to combat measles.

The five women who filed the lawsuit are residents of Williamsburg and Clinton Hill, according to ABC.

“The more I’m hearing, the more I realize it's a really small group of strong anti-vaccination voices that convinced a number of parents of something that is factually wrong,” de Blasio said last week, adding: “We will beat them."

The areas affected by the measles outbreak are heavily Orthodox Jewish, and some members of the community have argued that vaccinations are against Jewish doctrine.

A state judge this month threw out an order from Rockland County that barred unvaccinated children from public spaces for 30 days amid a measles outbreak. The judge's ruling was prompted by a lawsuit that made similar arguments to the one filed Monday.

Confirmed measles cases in the U.S. increased by 90 cases in the past week, the second-highest number of cases reported in 25 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.