Some Queens parents who are against vaccinating their kids on religious grounds have sued the city to get rid of the policy which keeps kids with communicable diseases out of school. "It is my opinion that resorting to vaccinations demonstrates a lack of faith in God, which would anger God and therefore be sacrilegious," said Fabian Mendoza-Vaca, the father of two students at P.S. 107, who sued the city last week in Queens Supreme Court to overturn principals’ decisions to send his kids home.
"We don't want anything being put into our bodies at all," said Nicole Phillips, the mother of two other children at P.S. 188 who have missed several weeks of class since November because they haven't gotten vaccinations. "We'd rather rely on our natural immune system and our faith in God. This is about my children's rights." Neither Phillips nor Mendoza-Vaca would specify what their religious background is, nor whether Dr. Jenny McCarthy is their practicing physician.
According to Patricia Finn, the lawyer for both Queens parents, thousands of unvaccinated kids attend schools throughout the state every day by invoking a state law that offers exemptions for religious reasons. But some city principals have tossed out kids for weeks by citing a schools Chancellor’s regulation, which gives them the power to exclude unvaccinated kids when others have contracted communicable diseases like measles, mumps or chicken pox.
Last year, a Rockland County family filed suit against the New York Archdiocese after a Catholic preschool wouldn't accept their child because she has not been fully vaccinated.