Williamsburg residents could face 'forcible vaccinations' amid measles outbreak

De Blasio declares public health emergency over measles outbreak in Brooklyn mandates vaccination in Williamsburg ZIP codes

Rockland County, located near New York City, has also declared a 30-day public health emergency over a measles outbreak there that has seen 168 people contract the disease, according to the CDC.

In declaring a public health emergency, Commissioner of Health Dr. Oxiris Barbot said the number of cases diagnosed within certain zip codes of Williamsburg "continues to grow as new cases are still occurring" and that he deemed this to be an "existing threat to public health in the City of NY".

Officials fear increased travel during Passover among people who could carry measles to or from NY. They have been spreading unsafe misinformation based on fake science.

Some Orthodox Jews have resisted vaccines.

The New York City Department of Health has threatened to fine or even close United States yeshivas in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn if students who are not vaccinated against measles are allowed to attend classes. Others remain convinced, against expert assurances, that vaccines are unsafe.

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The Brooklyn outbreak has been tied to an unvaccinated child who contracted the disease during a trip to Israel, which has recently seen a high incidence of measles, the Washington Post reported.

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

Non-vaccinated minors in the county were banned from public places in a bid to prevent the spread of the disease, and hundreds of people have now been vaccinated, according to authorities.

The study was a follow-up of an earlier large study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 that also involved Danish children and also concluded that there "was no association between the age at the time of vaccination, the time since vaccination, or the date of vaccination and the development of autistic disorder".

As part of the declaration, every unvaccinated person living in the ZIP codes 11205, 11206, 11211 and 11249 - regardless of whether they have been exposed to the infection - are required to receive the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to stymie the outbreak. "Those who have not received the MMR vaccine or do not have evidence of immunity may be given a violation and could be fined $1,000", Mayor De Blasio's office said in a statement.

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To encourage immunization, the city has created the slogan, "Don't wait".

At Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov school, Rabbi David Oberlander said administrators took pains to make sure children with measles - some 20 cases in recent months - weren't in class. City health officials said Monday that yeshivas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that do not comply will face fines and possible closure. "But we don't control the parents, and we don't intend to control the parents".

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

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld such an order in a 1905 case involving smallpox vaccinations in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

"Today we are declaring a public health emergency effective immediately".

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