NYC orders mandatory vaccines for some amid measles outbreak

NYC orders mandatory vaccines for some amid measles outbreak

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in effect until the next meeting of the New York City Board of Health on April 17 at which time "it may be continued or rescinded by the board".

New York City declared a public health emergency and ordered mandatory measles vaccinations amid an outbreak in Brooklyn, which has become the latest national flash point over refusals to inoculate against unsafe diseases.

On Monday, the city's health department also issued an order requiring all Orthodox Jewish schools in the area to exclude unvaccinated children until the outbreak is over.

The outbreak has been predominately among ultra Orthodox Jews, and not unsimilar to outbreaks among other insular communities in recent years where parental fears about immunization have been influenced by an anti-vaccine movement in the larger population that persists despite scientific studies showing the safety of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

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The order concerns all people living or working in four zip codes of Williamsburg, northwest Brooklyn, where some residents oppose vaccines on religious grounds - although neither Jewish texts, nor local Jewish authorities advise against vaccination.

The New York City Department of Health has threatened to fine or even close United States yeshivas in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn if students who are not vaccinated against measles are allowed to attend classes. "They have been spreading unsafe misinformation based on fake science", Dr. Barbot said in the statement. Officials there banned children not vaccinated against measles from public spaces last month.

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

The vast majority of cases are children under the age of 18 - 246 cases - and 39 cases involve adults. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises children to get two doses of the 97 percent effective measles vaccine.

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Officials also noted that Passover is approaching, meaning increased travel among people who could carry measles to or from NY.

"We stand with the majority of people in this community who have worked hard to protect their children and those at risk".

City officials also expressed alarm at reports of parents holding "measles parties", where they intentionally expose their unvaccinated children to an infected child in the mistaken belief doing so is a safe means to create immunity.

"They have been spreading risky misinformation based on fake science", Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the city' health commissioner, said in a statement. "I know that getting vaccinated is far safer than getting measles".

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This comes after the city threatened to shut down religious schools and day care services in the community that allowed unvaccinated children in.

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