Court of Appeals orders temporary stay of San Diego unified vaccine mandate


SAN DIEGO – A federal appeals court granted a request by a 16-year-old Scripps Ranch High School student and her parents who filed a lawsuit to block the Unified School District’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate from San Diego, one day before students were required to get their first dose.

The lawsuit filed last month in federal court in San Diego on behalf of the family – identified as John, Jane and Jill Doe in the lawsuit – indicated that the high school girl’s religious beliefs – particularly her opposition to abortion – Forbade him to be vaccinated.

Paul Jonna, an attorney representing the family, said his clients objected to taking the vaccines “because they were all made or tested using aborted fetal cells.”

Jonna said: “Our customers are strongly pro-life and refuse to benefit from vaccines made in this way, which they consider immoral, as do many other people of faith.”

The district plan requires that all students over 16 receive their second dose by December 20. According to Doe’s documents, this means that students’ first dose must be received by Monday in order to be considered fully immunized by December 20.

Unvaccinated students 16 years of age or older will be required to participate in distance learning through independent study. The district plan allows for medical warrant exemptions, but no religious or personal belief exemptions.

As the family’s request for a temporary restraining order was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Cathy Bencivengo earlier this month, a U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled on Sunday that the SDUSD’s mandate would be blocked as long as the district offered immunization deferrals for pregnant students. , who were allowed to postpone receiving the vaccine. The court injunction will end if the postponement option for pregnant students is removed.

Representatives for SDUSD did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In a statement, plaintiffs’ attorney Paul Jonna called the decision a “significant victory” and said the district should revise its policy to grant religious exemptions.

“Otherwise, we are confident that we will fully defend the rights of our clients, either in the Ninth Circuit or in the United States Supreme Court, if necessary,” said Jonna.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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