A man in upstate New York who objected to his 11-year-old daughter getting vaccinated has been handed a defeat, after a judge sided with his estranged wife.
Donald Figer, a scientist and college professor "at one of the area's premier institutions" (the Rochester Institute of Technology) asked his ex to hold off on vaccinating their daughter, arguing that there haven't been studies conducted on long-term side effects, according to court filings cited by the New York Post.
His ex, Jeannie Figer, revived their 2012 divorce case in order to ask the judge to overrule Donald's objections. Monroe County Supreme Court Justice Richard Dollinger did just that.
"Waiting — to be ‘sure,’ as the father asks — is simply untenable, when the specter of a killing or incapacitating disease is swirling in the environment surrounding this young girl," Dollinger ruled on Friday, adding "Scientists may never catch up to this ever evolving and elusive virus and variants."
Dollinger ordered Jeannie to schedule an appointment for her daughter to get the shot immediately.
The jurist said he’s concerned about an uptick in cases in the county, which declared a state of emergency “as hospitals were filling with ill COVID patients.”
The judge noted that since Nov. 22, there were 2,643 new cases in Monroe County, “in which the child lives,” and a rolling seven-day average of 378 new cases per day — making it the second-highest in any region of the Empire State. -NY Post
Dollinger says he's "somewhat perplexed that an accomplished scientist and professor would oppose a child vaccine authorized by the CDC and universally encouraged by state and local physicians and other health officials." The judge also said that the risks from the vaccine are lower than the risks to the young girl were she to contract Covid-19.
"This court is unwilling to kick this can down the road," wrote Dollinger. "It could be years before any researchers have exacting accounts of either the short or long term consequences of the administration of this vaccine on 11-year-old girls with this child’s physiological makeup."
According to court documents, the couple's two other daughters, aged 17 and 19, have already received their vaccine, and the 11-year-old 'wanted to get the vaccine just like them.'
As the Post notes, this isn't the first time a judge has ruled over a family vaccination dispute.
In October, a Long Island father was prohibited from visiting his 3-year-old daughter unless he got the jab or submitted to weekly COVID-19 tests.