NYC orders mandatory vaccines for some amid measles outbreak

Phillip Cunningham
April 10, 2019

"We can not allow this unsafe disease to make a comeback here in New York City", de Blasio added.

The New York City Department of Health has ordered mandatory measles vaccination within a section of the Borough of Brooklyn, where there have been more than 250 documented cases of the highly-contagious disease since September.

According to the city's health commissioner, almost 300 cases have been confirmed since the beginning of the outbreak in October.

The worst measles outbreak since 1991 has prompted the declaration of a public health emergency in Williamsburg in which unvaccinated students won't be allowed at schools or daycares, de Blasio said.

The April 9 order states that anyone who "lives, works or resides" within four designated zip codes in Williamsburg "who has not received the MMR vaccine" within 48 hours of the order being issued "shall be vaccinated against measles unless such person can demonstrate immunity to the disease or document to the satisfaction of the Department that he or she should be medically exempt from this requirement".

New York City on Tuesday, April 9, declared a public health emergency and ordered mandatory measles vaccinations amid an outbreak, becoming the latest national flashpoint over refusals to inoculate against unsafe diseases. He was joined by city health officials who decried what they called "misinformation" spread by opponents of vaccines. Refusing to vaccinate could come with a $1,000 fine. The Associated Press reports that this is the largest measles outbreak in the city since 1991, and that NYC accounts for two-thirds of all cases reported in the USA last week.

In the modern era, measles is rarely fatal, but Center for Disease Control numbers showed 1 in 10,000 cases resulted in death before 1963.

"We stand with the majority of people in this community who have worked hard to protect their children and those at risk".


Parents of children older than six months must get them vaccinated or show proof of immunisation.

Officials also noted that Passover is approaching, meaning increased travel among people who could carry measles to or from NY.

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

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. It says the vaccine is 97 percent effective.

The United States measles vaccination program began in 1963.

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

Health officials made a specific point to condemn the resurgence of "measles parties", get-togethers where parents gather unvaccinated children with kids already suffering with measles in order to intentionally infect the group at a young age.

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