Judge refuses to block child vaccination law

MMR Vaccine Vial - Needle

SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in San Diego denied a request Friday to block a state law requiring all children entering school or child-care facilities to be vaccinated.

A lawsuit filed by a group of 17 families and two foundations sought a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of Senate Bill 277 while the suit works its way through the courts.

In an 18-page ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw concluded that the plaintiffs failed to show they are entitled to the “extraordinary remedy” of a preliminary injunction.

Last month, the plaintiffs filed a motion alleging SB 277 violates their rights to free exercise, equal protection, due process and education.

The law — which went into effect July 1 — eliminated religious and personal beliefs as reasons for parents to opt out of getting their children vaccinated.

In enacting the law, state legislators said the intent was to provide a means for the eventual achievement of total immunization of appropriate age groups against childhood diseases such as diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps and other diseases.

The law requires all children to be vaccinated before attending public or private schools or day care facilities unless doctors give medical reasons for not doing it.