NY orders mandatory vaccinations amid measles outbreak
NY orders mandatory vaccinations amid measles outbreak
New York City declares public health emergency amid growing measles outbreak
11 April, 2019, 21:44
"We've seen a large increase in the number of people vaccinated in these neighbourhoods, but as Passover approaches, we need to do all we can to ensure more people get the vaccine".
Amid the crisis, the city has had to deal with another problem: People deliberately and voluntarily exposing their unvaccinated children to the (potentially deadly) disease. But anti-vaccine propaganda has found an audience among a larger than usual percentage of parents in a community used to cultural clashes with city officials.
The measles, mumps, rubella vaccine being administered.
Others remained convinced, against expert assurances, that vaccines were unsafe. "The faster everyone heeds the order, the faster we can lift it". Even now, 1 in 4 people who get measles end up hospitalized.
"I know that parents may be afraid of getting their child vaccinated, but as a pediatrician, I know that getting vaccinated is far safer than getting measles", said NYC Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. "We can stop this".
Some Orthodox Jews have resisted vaccines. Violators could face a fine of $1,000, officials said.
There have been almost 300 confirmed measles cases in the city since the outbreak began last October, mainly in Orthodox Jewish communities in parts of Brooklyn, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH).
The health department said in a news release Monday that any school out of compliance "will immediately be issued a violation".
Insured adults and children will be covered. Those who are uninsured will pay what they can afford, de Blasio said, and those who cannot afford the vaccination will receive it free.
Another outbreak has hit Orthodox Jewish families in New York's Rockland County.
While any outbreak is certainly worthy of some concern, the bigger underlying issue, in this case, is vaccination-or lack thereof.
"In Judaism, the majority has the right to dictate what takes place in the public space to ward off danger". "Vaccinate." De Blasio said the outbreak "can be turned around quickly" if residents act quickly. The outbreak began when, according to health officials, an unvaccinated child became infected with the illness while visiting Israel.
New York City accounted for about two-thirds of all measles cases reported across the United States last week.
Most cases have been reported from Williamsburg and Borough Park - two Brooklyn neighborhoods with large ultra-Orthodox Jewish populations, in which vaccination rates tend to be lower.
However, that ban was overturned by a judge last Friday.
In Kentucky, a high school student sued state health officials after he was barred from playing basketball because he wasn't vaccinated for chickenpox. But while vaccination against a list of contagious diseases is required to attend school, 17 states allow some type of non-medical exemption for "personal, moral or other beliefs", according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The New York Civil Liberties Union also questioned the city's move.
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