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NYC orders mandatory vaccinations for areas of Brooklyn amid measles outbreak

09 April 2019

Since last fall, almost 300 people, mostly children, have come down with measles in New York City, with the majority centered in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Williamsburg and Borough Park in Brooklyn.

"We have a situation now where children are in danger", de Blasio said at a news conference.

The mandatory vaccination order follows an order from the Health Department last week requiring yeshivas and day-care programs serving Williamsburg's Orthodox Jewish community to exclude unvaccinated children or face fines or closure.

The city can't legally physically force someone to get a vaccination, but officials said people who ignore the order could be fined $1,000. Officials there banned children not vaccinated against measles from public spaces last month.

The outbreak is part of a broader resurgence in the United States, with 465 cases reported in 19 states so far this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While there have been no confirmed deaths so far, 21 people have been taken to hospital, with five admitted to intensive care, officials said. "I urge everyone, especially those in affected areas, to get their [mumps-measles-rubella] vaccines to protect their children, families and communities".

Schlesinger is trying to reverse false information being spread about the measles vaccine through the Orthodox community. Officials in New York City were no different in their blame.

The city threatened to close Orthodox Jewish schools in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Borough Park, where many parents have refused or neglected to vaccinate their children.

"This outbreak is being fueled by a small group of anti-vaxxers in these neighborhoods".

A judge has lifted Rockland County, N.Y.'s emergency declaration keeping unvaccinated minors out of public places.

"I understand that parents may be afraid of getting their children vaccinated", said Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot. "They have been spreading risky misinformation based on fake science", Dr. Barbot said in the statement.

Experts insist vaccines are safe and necessary to protect the larger community from highly infectious diseases like measles, which can cause severe diarrhea, pneumonia and vision loss and can be fatal in some cases.

NYC orders mandatory vaccinations for areas of Brooklyn amid measles outbreak