"Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency on Tuesday and has ordered mandatory vaccinations for people who may have been exposed to the virus in parts of Williamsburg amid a growing measles outbreak", reports WCBS.
The CDC has said that in the decade before 1963 when a vaccine became available, almost all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age and that an estimated 3 to 4 million people in the United States were infected each year.
As of last week (April 4), 465 cases of measles have been reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with 78 cases added in the past few days alone.
So far, there have been 285 cases of measles in the outbreak, 246 of which were in children. "Our goal is to get people vaccinated".
This public health emergency declaration comes after the NYC Health Department issued Commissioner's Orders last week to all yeshivas and daycare programs serving the Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg, doubling down on their order to exclude unvaccinated students or face violations and possible closure, first announced in December.
"This outbreak is being fueled by a small group of anti-vaxxers in these neighborhoods".
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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. We're talking about people's lives here.
Michigan's current measles outbreak dates back to March 13, when the health department reported that the first case came from someone "visiting from Israel following a stay in NY". "However, measles is still common in other countries". Refusing to vaccinate could come with a $1,000 fine. She and fellow volunteers from the Orthodox Jewish Nurses Association have been holding workshops to reassure mothers that the vaccine is safe and effective.
Dr Jeffrey Dick of Kindercare Pediatrics in Williamsburg said his practice had seen at least a dozen measles cases in recent months, but also an uptick in families seeking vaccinations as worry about the outbreak spread.
"And it's everybody's option to do what he wants".
The city has also threatened to shut down yeshivas, or traditional Jewish religious schools, if they do not follow an order to keep unvaccinated children out of class.
"If people will simply cooperate quickly, nobody will have to pay a fine", de Blasio said. "We can stop this".
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. CDC figures show 71.2 percent of children that age in Alabama had received the recommended doses vaccines, including MMR, in 2018.
In an April 9 interview on WAMC with Alan Chartok, chief executive office of the Northeast Public Radio station, New York Governor Andrew Cumo said he thought the debate over parental rights to not vaccine their children against the right of the public to be protected would end up in the courts.