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NYC Declares Emergency, Requires Measles Vaccinations

Move applies to parts of Brooklyn as outbreak worsens
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2019 11:39 AM CDT
In this file photo, a sign explains a local state of emergency because of a measles outbreak at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(Newser) – New York City is no longer merely suggesting that people get vaccinated for the measles—it's requiring them to do so in parts of Brooklyn. Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency amid a worsening outbreak and said unvaccinated people in certain zip codes of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, must get the vaccine or risk fines of $1,000, reports the New York Times. The outbreak is centered in the area's Orthodox Jewish community. As part of the emergency action, health officials will check immunization records of anyone who might have been in contact with an infected person, reports ABC News.

“This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately,” said de Blasio. “The measles vaccine works. It is safe, it is effective, it is time-tested.” The city says it has documented 285 measles cases since the current outbreak began last fall. Also this week, the city ordered religious schools and day care facilities in the community to make sure all children in their care are vaccinated, reports the AP. The sites risk closure if they allow in anyone unvaccinated. (Read more measles stories.)

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