Williamsburg Residents Divided on Vaccines, Despite Mayor's Health Emergency Declaration

14 April, 2019, 01:14 | Author: Andrea Terry
  • A nurse prepares the measles mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department recently

New York City's effort to halt a measles outbreak by ordering mandatory vaccinations in one Brooklyn neighborhood is facing opposition, with lawyers for parents opposed to vaccinations promising to file a lawsuit challenging the order by Friday. He also said schools in certain areas that permitted attendance by unvaccinated students could be fined or temporarily closed.

In Rockland County, the local Jewish community represents about one-third of county inhabitants, including a large number of Orthodox Jews. Some of those who've succumbed to the illness have been purposely infected with the disease, as parents in parts of New York City have been hosting "measles parties" to help spread the illness from those already infected to those who haven't been vaccinated.

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.

For those in need of the measles vaccine, the Westchester County Health Department will be offering free measles, mumps, and rubella shots during three clinics.

Among the six regional outbreaks of measles reported by the Centers for Disease Control, the leading public health institute in the U.S., Rockland County's is the most concentrated.

Since October she has been fighting an uphill battle to quell one of the worst US measles outbreaks in 20 years. "Those who have the vaccination won't have to worry".


This state of emergency banned children unvaccinated from measles (other than those with confirmed medical reasons) from public places. In fact, a study from The Atlantic states that about 92% of the population should be vaccinated for most diseases, and around 95% for highly contagious ones such as measles. A state judge sided with the parents and issued a preliminary injunction against the emergency order last week.

Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, the health commissioner of an outlying NY suburban county, is feeling "overwhelmed".

It's a nightmare for public health officials, but it's good for Merck & Co., Inc.

"Once you delay it a few months, you exponentially increase the vector for infection", said Begun, who said families of eight to 10 children are typical in his practice. Anyone who is unsure about his/her or their child's vaccination status can work with their health care provider's office or school to obtain their vaccination records. The news was good: Measles declined worldwide by almost 80 percent between 2000 and 2016, with fatalities - mostly among children younger than age 5 - plummeting to about 90,000 per year from about 550,000.

"I don't expect that people are running out [to get vaccinated]".

It has been well documented that in order for vaccines to be effective, the vast majority must be vaccinated in order to maintain herd immunity. As of Wednesday there were 173 confirmed reported cases of measles in Rockland County.

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