On Friday, a federal appeals court ruled against a group of New York parents who sued after the state made it more difficult for children to get a medical exemption from school immunization requirements.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sustained a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by families and Children’s Health Defense, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s anti-vaccine group.
The lawsuit earlier challenged state rules adopted in 2019 that did away with religious exemptions for vaccines and narrowed eligibility for medical exemptions down to children with just a few rare conditions, like severe allergic reactions to a previous dose of vaccine or certain severe immune system diseases.
Based on the lawsuit, the state’s allowed exemptions follow guidelines from a federal advisory panel.
The plaintiff argued the regulations violated their rights because school officials could deny requests on behalf of vulnerable children even when a doctor certified a medical need for an exemption.
But the appeals panel rejected that argument, writing in the decision that “the new regulations require requests to comply with evidence-based national standards to ensure that physicians do not recommend medical exemptions in a conclusory fashion or for non-medical reasons.”
According to reports, New York’s longstanding vaccination rules don’t include a mandate for children to get vaccinated against COVID-19.