NYC Declares Public Health Emergency over Measles Outbreak

Grant Boone
April 12, 2019

New York City on Tuesday declared a public health emergency in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn because of a measles outbreak and ordered mandatory measles vaccinations. Unvaccinated individuals should have their shots within 48 hours or face $1,000 fine. This includes babies six months of age, even though the MMR is not recommended for anyone under twelve months of age.

In the face of this crisis, schools in Washington and NY are keeping unvaccinated children out of classes, and Rockland County executive Ed May declared that they should be barred from all public places in the county.

Children's Health Defense (CHD) is supporting a legal challenge to this unsafe, unprecedented overreach.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn is in the midst of the country's largest measles outbreak-but residents are still split on what should be done. This is a fundamental human right.

On Thursday, New York City public health officials were wrestling with the logistics of dealing with an estimated 1,800 children in the affected eras who they believe haven't been immunized.

The health officials will try to persuade any unvaccinated person who has been exposed to measles to get the vaccine. CHD Chairman Robert F. Kennedy confident their legal challenge will prevail.

Merck is now defending itself against claims of falsifying data brought by two former employees. As a result, it has been too easy for misinformation about vaccines to take root and spread, because parents have the luxury of fearing the vaccines instead of the diseases. Two drops of vaccination can lead to the prevention of Measles.

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Governor Cuomo voiced concerns about the legality of de Blasio's emergency order to forcibly vaccinate conscientious objectors.

Last week, Ireland's Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) said in a statement regarding Dublin's recent measles outbreak: "Measles is a serious illness and is highly infectious".

But city health officials say they have they have struck the right balance with the unusual order, and they hope a mixture of outreach and prodding will overcome resistance to vaccines in a slice of the predominantly Orthodox Jewish community hardest hit by the disease.

Some have asked how de Blasio is planning to determine who is or isn't vaccinated to enforce his order.

"This is about one neighborhood and tracing folks that have been exposed", de Blasio explained. "If someone has symptoms, they will literally interview them to figure out everywhere they've been, everyone they might have come in contact with, and then they go reach out to that whole network to make sure people are vaccinated".

Authorities said they are now reviewing a bill to ensure that only patients with a qualified medical history like chemotherapy or organ transplantation will be given an exemption.

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