JEROME Kunkel, 18, above, refused to to be vaccinated against chickenpox on religious grounds, wrongly claiming that the vaccine contained ‘foetal cells’.
As a consequence the Northern Kentucky Health Department banned him from school activities – a ban that Kunkel, a Catholic, said was a violation of his religious beliefs. So he sued the NKHD.
But Boone County Circuit Judge James R Schrand yesterday ruled against the student and denied his request to return to school.
The health department said in a statement:
The Boone Circuit Court issued a decision upholding the Northern Kentucky District Health Department’s statutory charge to protect the health and welfare of the community. We are pleased with the Court’s careful and thorough review of the evidence and legal issues posed in this case.
The Court’s ruling, which follows on the heels of the Northern Kentucky Health Department receiving national recognition through re-accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board, underscores the critical need for Public Health Departments to preserve the safety of the entire community, and in particular the safety of those members of our community who are most susceptible to the dire consequences when a serious, infectious disease such as varicella, is left unabated and uncontrolled.
Kunkel’s lawyer contended the student faced discrimination because of his religious beliefs. Attorney Chris Wiest said that Kunkel is disappointed in the ruling and will review his options.
An ABC video report pointed out that the Vatican has said that it is “morally acceptable” to be vaccinated, because it “protects children”, and that Kunkel’s “foetal cells” claim was didn’t square with the facts.
The report sparked a heated debate among pro- and anti-vaxers. Two morons in the latter camp commented:
Vaccines are useless and anti-American.
Better to get chicken Pox than deadly vaccines.
The debate went off at a tangent when someone commented:
The irony. Since when did the Catholic Church care about protecting children?