Skeptic News: Anti-vax lawsuit dismissed

From: San Francisco Chronicle

A judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit that challenged new vaccine requirements for schoolchildren, ruling that the Department of Health and Human Resourcescan impose them.

Kanawha County Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman said in his decision that the immunization rule is consistent with state code and does not exceed the Legislature’s limits on interpretive rules. The lawsuit argued that the department cannot require additional vaccines without the Legislature’s approval.

“The main reason for my clients’ challenge in the first place was not addressed at all,” said Delegate Patrick Lane, an attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of six families. “The crux of our argument, the basis of our complaint, is that DHHR did not follow the proper legislative procedures that are required by statute.”

The Kanawha Republican said he anticipates that his clients will appeal.

State code requires children entering school for the first time to be immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, tetanus and pertussis, or whooping cough.

Under the department’s rule, incoming seventh-graders and 12th-graders must show proof they have received one dose of vaccines against meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Incoming 12th-graders must show proof they received booster doses after age 16.

Similar lawsuits are pending in Mercer, Ohio and Randolph counties. Judges in these cases have ordered county school boards to provide homebound instruction to students barred from attending school because they did not receive vaccinations

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