The majority of cases have been among members of Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community, primarily in parts of Brooklyn's Williamsburg and Borough Park neighborhoods. Anyone who resists could be fined up to $1,000. They have been spreading risky misinformation based on fake science.
New York City's health commissioner has declared a public health emergency over a major measles outbreak in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, with 250 cases documented in the area since September 2018.
As skepticism over vaccines has increased in recent years, the number of cases of preventable diseases has spiked accordingly.
New York City accounted for about two-thirds of all us measles cases reported last week, according to the Associated Press. The cases led to 21 hospitalizations, including five admissions to intensive care units.
Community leaders welcomed the move.
Mainstream Jewish teaching does not prohibit vaccination, and most rabbis are encouraging parents to have their children immunized.
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He said he had seen anti-vaccination booklets and misinformation circulate around the tightly knit community, but that most families trusted the Health Department. Most of the children were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
"You get phony, phony articles and studies, so yes, some people will fall for that", he said. The other locations include areas of Washington state and Michigan, Butte County and Santa Cruz County in California, Rockland County in NY, and Ocean County in New Jersey.
Health officials have largely blamed the outbreaks on small but vocal anti-vaccine advocates who scare well-meaning parents by spreading unsafe lies and misinformation about life-saving vaccines and their safety.
It is the largest measles outbreak in the city since 1991. Officials in New York City were no different in their blame.
A growing and vocal fringe of parents oppose vaccinations, believing, contrary to scientific evidence, that ingredients in the vaccines can cause autism or other disorders.
"I understand that parents may be afraid of getting their children vaccinated", health commissioner Barbot said. She added that the city will help unprotected individuals secure affordable and accessible vaccination, and emphasized that vaccination is safe and effective.