Thursday, 25 April, 2019

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio Orders Vaccinations Amid Measles Outbreak

Materials are seen left at demonstration by people opposed to childhood vaccination after officials in Rockland County Enlarge Image Reuters
Celia Hoffman | 10 April, 2019, 12:17

Health officials Tuesday ordered almost everyone in a heavily Orthodox Jewish New York City neighborhood to be vaccinated for measles or face fines, reviving a public-health strategy that experts say hasn't been used in the U.S.in recent memory.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has issued a public health emergency in Brooklyn due to a measles outbreak.

He was joined by health officials who decried what they called "misinformation" spread by opponents of vaccination.

Speaking at a press briefing on the emergency declaration, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said people who remain unvaccinated in the affected area will face fines.

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.

Officials say 285 measles cases have been confirmed in NY since the beginning of the outbreak, the largest in the city since 1991. "There are nearly 300 cases already, overwhelmingly in Brooklyn", New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters Tuesday.

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).

'You get phony, phony articles and studies, so yes, some people will fall for that, ' he said.

In New York City late previous year, the health department ordered yeshivas and childcare centres in the Orthodox Jewish community to keep out unvaccinated students.

Barbot cited a group of "anti-vaxxers" who are seeking to undermine the public health emergency. "They have been spreading unsafe misinformation based on fake science", Dr. Barbot said in the statement. "We stand with the majority of people in this community who have worked hard to protect their children and those at risk". We're talking about people's lives here.

Health officials ordered almost everyone in Williamsburg to be vaccinated for measles or face fines. Israel, for instance, also has a current measles outbreak. The disease is highly contagious among people who aren't vaccinated, and it kills about two to three children out of every 1,000 who get the disease.The letters from Lurie carry a similar message.

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In a statement, de Blasio added that "there's no question that vaccines are safe, effective and life-saving".

"This is the epicentre of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately", he said.

"And it's everybody's option to do what he wants".

"We're making clear that unvaccinated students will not be allowed in schools or day cares", de Blasio said. "We're hoping people will comply", Miranda said. "We have to stop it now", he said.

Another Jewish religious community, north of the city but with close ties to Brooklyn, has also seen a surge, with at least 166 cases since October. But over time, school-vaccination requirements - which the high court upheld in 1922 - became the centerpiece of public health officials' strategies to fight measles, mumps and other communicable diseases.

The CDC recommends that all children get two doses of measles vaccine.

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.

"Measles are highly risky and contagious", Councilmember Stephen Levin, whose district includes Williamsburg, told the Brooklyn Eagle.

People are infectious from five days before the onset of the rash to five days after the rash starts.

While the MMR vaccine is the safest and most effective method of prevent measles, it is only 97 percent effective, so population-wide immunity is a key component to protecting our most at risk New Yorkers from measles.

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