NY orders mandatory vaccinations amid measles outbreak

New York City threatens to close yeshivas over unvaccinated children

Measles outbreak: NYC threatens fines for unvaccinated Williamsburg residents

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced mandatory vaccinations for Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood after more than 250 people have been infected with measles since September in the section.

"It's true that a lot of people have measles, and measles are not a very good thing, said resident Aron Braver, but he thinks the vaccine is "also not a very good thing". "I urge everyone, especially those in affected areas, to get their MMR vaccines to protect their children, families and communities".

Mayor Bill de Blasio said individuals and parents who ignore the order will be fined up to $1,000 and that "disease detectives" would question them.

All unvaccinated people in those areas who may have been exposed to the virus are required to get vaccinated, including children older than 6 months, according to the order. Violators could face a fine of $1,000, officials said.

The city also warned that yeshiva religious schools and day care programs serving the local Orthodox Jewish community would face penalties and possible closure if they keep taking in students who are not vaccinated against measles, which can cause severe diarrhea, pneumonia and vision loss and can potentially be fatal.

The CDC reported this week that 465 cases have been confirmed in 19 states in 2019, the second-highest total since measles was declared eliminated.

"Measles is a unsafe, potentially deadly disease that can easily be prevented with vaccine", said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. Barbot said that 21 people have been hospitalized, and five have ended up in the intensive care unit.

"It's crucial for people to understand the measles vaccine works", de Blasio continued.

Measles can be prevented through vaccinations.

The resurgence of the once-eradicated, highly-contagious disease is linked to a growing anti-vaccine movement in richer nations - which the World Health Organisation has identified as a major global health threat. She and fellow volunteers from the Orthodox Jewish Nurses Association have been holding workshops to reassure mothers that the vaccine is safe and effective.

In an attempt to "naturally" build up their kids' immunity to viruses, parents would get them all together, expose them to the virus, to get it over and done with.

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.

"The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective", the CDC said.

NY has contended with measles outbreaks and the legal challenges that have arisen in efforts to contain them.

The order is signed to remain in effect until the next meeting of the New York City Board of Health on April 17 at which time "it may be continued or rescinded by the board". It lays out numerous anti-vaccine arguments that have been debunked by scientific studies, such as a claim that measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations increase the risk of autism.

New York's mandate comes as health officials have scrambled to blunt the spread of measles.

For more information, New Yorkers can visit the Health Department's Measles page.

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