Sometimes situations are more nuanced than "I am an idiot, so I won't be vaccinating my kid," and the case goes to court.
On April 30th, armed officers showed up at an Orthodox Jewish woman's apartment to serve her a summons for failing to vaccinate one of her nine children.
She wasn't deliberately skirting her responsibilities to the community in the face of the public health emergency, though. The woman, identified as Jane Doe in court documents, is pro-vaccine, and vaccinated eight of her children. The summons she received was for her youngest son, who at eight months old, had been sick for several weeks.
Because the baby was experiencing fevers and ear infections, his doctor said to hold off on the vaccination until the baby recovered.
The Kings County Sheriffs' office didn't know that when they banged on her door at ten at night, scaring her (vaccinated!) children. Her kids were so afraid, and in order to calm them down, Doe told them that the armed guards were simply selling furniture. This is America after all—furniture salesmen have the right to bear arms.
"I'm a very responsible mother...I was very hurt about this whole thing," Doe told Gothamist/WNYC. "I feel they're coming very strong on me because of the public and because of the anti-vaxxers."
In April, New York City declared an emergency order changing the immunization requirement from twelve months old to six months old. Doe was out of the loop as an Orthodox Jewish woman who doesn't watch TV or use the internet, and her doctor didn't mention it, even though the emergency order had been already declared.
Doe argued her case when she was summoned to court, and if the court rules in favor of the city, she will be charged an $1,000 fine.
Gothamist reports that the court has been pretty forgiving and understanding of circumstance. Doe was one of 209 individuals who had received summonses under the city's mandatory vaccination order. Ninety of those cases were withdrawn after the defendants complied with the city's order and vaccinated their children.
This article originally appeared on SomeeCards. You can read it here.
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