Sonia Sotomayor denies bid from NY parents for kids’ vaccine exemptions

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A group of New York parents have lost their bid to get their children exempt from school vaccination requirements after Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected the effort.

The anonymous group of parents had sought to have their kids skip being vaccinated because they were learning remotely instead of in classrooms.

But even kids who take classes online must be vaccinated, State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker’s office said, prompting the parents to pursue their case in court.

“Excluding medically fragile children from distance learning because they are missing a vaccine that might harm or kill them serves no valid state interest and will cause irreparable harm,” the parents argued in federal court last summer.

Anti-vaxx advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is among the legal team representing the families.

The state argued that even children learning remotely are required to be vaccinated, according to court papers. 

“The state’s vaccination rules remain in force even though many children admitted at schools are learning remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the state wrote, according to a report in Education Week. “Because remote-learning children remain part of the community, lower vaccination rates among them could contribute to contagious disease outbreaks.”

The case was elevated to Sotomayor, who is the circuit judge for New York, Connecticut and Vermont, after the request was denied by the 2nd Circuit. She issued her opinion Friday, siding with the state, court records show.

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