New York City declared a public health emergency and ordered mandatory measles vaccinations amid an outbreak in Brooklyn, which has become the latest national flash point over refusals to inoculate against unsafe diseases.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the order Tuesday.
The city of NY has declared a public health emergency in response to the growing outbreak of measles in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, WLNY-TV reported Tuesday.
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Government pushes for inoculations and public space bans of unvaccinated children have prompted a backlash among anti-vaccination activists, whose misinformation campaigns have led to declines for vaccinations against one of the world's most contagious diseases. There were only two reported cases in 2017. "They have been spreading risky misinformation based on fake science", Barbot said. Those found to be in violation of the order could face up to a $1,000 fine, officials said.
There have been 285 reported cases of measles in Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community since October, 246 of which are children, CBS New York reported Monday, citing the health department.
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.
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Health commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot blamed those against vaccines for causing the outbreak.
In a similar directive late previous year amid an outbreak, the city ordered schools and child-care centers to keep unvaccinated students out of school.
The commissioner is empowered by law to issue such orders in cases when they might be necessary to protect against a serious public health threat.
Although measles was declared officially eliminated from the United States in 2000, outbreaks have occurred in five states this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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"There's no question that vaccines are safe, effective and life-saving". It says the vaccine is 97% effective.