New York Mandates Vaccine To Contain Brooklyn Measles Outbreak

Desiree Burns
April 10, 2019

Mayor de Blasio declared a public health emergency over the measles outbreak in Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community, mandating vaccinations for people living in Williamsburg zip codes to stem the crisis.

The health department in December ordered yeshivas and daycare centers in specific Brooklyn zip codes, populated largely with ultra-Orthodox, to exclude all non-vaccinated students until the end of the current measles outbreak.

"There's no question that vaccines are safe, effective and life-saving", said Mayor de Blasio.

In a press conference, Dr Barbot said that of the 285 reported cases, 21 people have been hospitalised and five had been admitted to an intensive care unit.

"When you make the decision not to vaccinate your child, please understand you're also making that decision for the people around your child", Ms Palacio said.

"If people will simply cooperate quickly, nobody will have to pay a fine", Mr de Blasio said.

De Blasio's vaccination order applies to all people, including children over six months old, who may have been exposed to the virus.

To date, 285 cases have been confirmed since the beginning of the outbreak in October, with numerous new cases being confirmed in the last two months.

"To challenge the risky misinformation that is being spread by a group of anti-vaxxers, it's crucial that everyone around them be vaccinated to shield them from infection", Barbot said.

NY accounted for about two-thirds of all measles cases reported last week in the United States.

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She also urged parents to avoid the practice of "measles parties", which she said has contributed to the outbreak.

On Friday, a NY state judge lifted the state of emergency imposed by Rockland County that would have barred minors not vaccinated against the measles from public places.

Another Jewish religious community, north of the city but with close ties to Brooklyn, has also seen a surge, with at least 166 cases since October.

Non-vaccinated minors in the county were banned from public places in a bid to prevent the spread of the disease, and hundreds of people have now been vaccinated, according to authorities.

He said he had seen misinformation circulate around the tightly knit community, but that most families trusted the Health Department. "This is a public health emergency".

"Most rabbis encourage vaccination based on the Torah commandment to protect one's life", Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, founder and head of the ethics department of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization in Israel, told The Post on April 3.

It said the vaccine was 97 per cent effective.

As skepticism over vaccines has increased in recent years, the number of cases of preventable diseases has spiked accordingly.

The best protection from measles is to have two MMR vaccinations. "When people choose not to get their children vaccinated, they are putting their children and others - such as pregnant women, people on chemotherapy, and the elderly - at risk of contracting measles".

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