New York Mandates Vaccine To Contain Brooklyn Measles Outbreak

Materials are seen left at demonstration by people opposed to childhood vaccination after officials in Rockland County

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency Tuesday, April 9, in select zip codes in Williamsburg, following a measles outbreak affecting the Orthodox Jewish community.

His order noted that the outbreak has persisted despite earlier orders "excluding unvaccinated children from attending preschools and daycare programs, because a high rate of people living within Williamsburg have not been vaccinated against measles" and this his department is "responsible for controlling communicable diseases".

"This is an unusual action", New York Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged, "and it's because of the sheer extent of the crisis".

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.

Ordering people to be vaccinated without their consent is "an extreme measure, which is not provided for in the law and raises civil liberties concerns about forced medical treatment", Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said in a written statement.

Officials said they would help people arrange to get shots but were prepared to fine them as much as $1,000 if they refused.

The Brooklyn outbreak is part of a broader resurgence in the U.S., with 465 cases reported in 19 states so far this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"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.

While the MMR vaccine is the safest and most effective method of prevent measles, it is only 97 percent effective, so population-wide immunity is a key component to protecting our most at risk New Yorkers from measles.




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

Most of the NY cases involved unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated individuals, according to Mr de Blasio's office.

The emergency order came as the city, a suburban ny county and some other parts of the nation grapple with a spurt in a disease the USA declared eradicated nearly two decades ago.

Mainstream Jewish teaching does not prohibit vaccination, and most rabbis are encouraging parents to have their children immunized.

He said he had seen misinformation circulate around the tightly knit community, but that most families trusted the Health Department. New Yorkers should make sure they have been vaccinated with MMR vaccine before traveling to Europe or Israel.

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

Measles has been a nationally notifiable disease in the United States since 1912.

The CDC recommends that all children get two doses of measles vaccine.

The National Institutes of Health says reports of serious reactions to vaccines are rare: about one in every 100,000 vaccinations.

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