New York City declares public health emergency amid growing measles outbreak

NYC orders mandatory vaccines for some amid measles outbreak

A Williamsburg yeshiva that fell out of compliance in January is connected to more than 40 measles cases, ABC7 NY reported.

City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot added, "As a pediatrician, I know the MMR vaccine is safe and effective".

"There's no question that vaccines are safe, effective and life-saving", said Mayor de Blasio.

"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 cases led to 21 hospitalizations, including five admissions to intensive care units.

The vaccination mandate would remain in place until the New York City Board of Health's next meeting on April 17 when officials will determine whether or not to continue the order, Barbot said in the release. Also each year, among reported cases, an estimated 400 to 500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles. Most of the children were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

The order comes a day after the city announced that yeshivas in parts of Brooklyn that allow unvaccinated children to attend school could face fines or potential school closures - and just a few days after a judge halted a similar emergency order in New York's Rockland County. He was joined by city health officials who decried what they called "misinformation" spread by opponents of vaccines.

"We have a situation now where children are in danger".

The Brooklyn outbreak is part of a broader resurgence in the USA, with 465 cases reported in 19 states so far this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"The decision to declare a public health emergency in New York City is the right one, and it is time we act at the state level and end non-medical exemptions".

News of the order got a mixed reaction in Williamsburg, with some residents - even those who support vaccination - saying they felt uncomfortable with the city pushing vaccines on people who don't want them.

It means that anyone who is not vaccinated and living in the area who might have been exposed to the measles will be required to receive the vaccination.

The United States measles vaccination program began in 1963.

"Since then, there have been additional people from Brooklyn and Queens who were unvaccinated and acquired measles while in Israel", according to the city's health department.

Earlier this week, the city ordered religious schools and daycare programmes serving that community to exclude unvaccinated students or risk being closed down. "The measles vaccine works".

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