NYC orders mandatory vaccines for some amid measles outbreak

Leslie Hanson
April 10, 2019

New York City declared a public health emergency Tuesday in response to a measles outbreak in ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn and ordered mandatory vaccinations for residents in four zip codes.

"There's no question that vaccines are safe, effective and life-saving", said de Blasio. The CDC recommends that children get two doses of MMR vaccine.

City officials announced a public health emergency over the outbreak following the diagnoses of 285 cases of measles since October.

As part of the declaration, unvaccinated individuals living in those ZIP codes who may have been exposed to measles will be required to receive the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine in order to protect others in the community and help curtail the ongoing outbreak, said the Mayor's office.

He was joined by health officials who decried what they called "misinformation" spread by opponents of vaccination.

"We are concerned about families having measles parties", New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said at a news conference, emphasizing that "we live in a different world now". "But as a doctor, a public health practitioner, and a mom, I must warn you that exposing your unvaccinated child to measles is very unsafe, and it could even be deadly".

The first Brooklyn child with measles acquired the infection on a visit to Israel, where a large outbreak is occurring, according to the New York City Health Department.

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. So far, 21 people have been hospitalized.

"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. "They have been spreading unsafe misinformation based on fake science", Dr. Barbot said in the statement.

What's more, the more children in the community have it, the higher risk of exposure for kids with weakened immune systems and pregnant women, who need to avoid the virus.

The city's health commissioner, Dr Oxiris Barbot, said that the majority of religious leaders in Brooklyn's large Orthodox communities support vaccination efforts, but that rates have remained low in some areas because of resistance from some groups that believe the inoculations are risky.

CBS reported that the "vast majority" of children in the largely ultra-Orthodox community of Williamsburg are vaccinated, but that the disease continues to spread due to how tight-knit the community is. "The measles vaccine works".

"This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately..."

The United States measles vaccination program began in 1963.

Others remained convinced, against expert assurances, that vaccines were unsafe.

Across the United States, there have been 465 measles cases since the start of 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday.

Rabbi David Oberlander, director of the Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov School, where there were 20 measles cases, said "maybe 3 percent" of the students were unvaccinated.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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