Brooklyn parents head to court to prevent mandatory measles vaccinations

WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A group of parents in Brooklyn will take their battle against mandatory measles vaccinations to court Thursday morning.

Parents of five unvaccinated children in Williamsburg will be seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the mandatory vaccinations from taking effect.

The parents, who live within the Brooklyn zip codes covered by Mayor Bill de Blasio's public health emergency declaration, filed a lawsuit against the New York City Department of Health.

They called the emergency order "arbitrary and capricious," and the measures it necessitates "drastic."

The mayor declared the emergency to demand everyone over six months who lives, works or attends school within the specified zip codes of Williamsburg be vaccinated, with fines for noncompliance.

In declaring a public health emergency, de Blasio called the measles "a very serious situation" and noted the "danger of this disease and how highly contagious it is."

The affected zip codes are heavily populated with Orthodox Jews, and the mayor sought to get everyone vaccinated before people travel for Passover, which begins Friday.

The Board of Health voted Wednesday to extend last week's emergency declaration. The continuing order will end when health officials declare the emergency is over.

New York City has confirmed 329 cases of measles since the outbreak began in October.

For more information on the MMR vaccine, call 311 or CLICK HERE.

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