Williamsburg residents could face 'forcible vaccinations' amid measles outbreak

Kenny Tucker
April 12, 2019

New York City accounted for about two-thirds of all United States measles cases reported last week. "If they have insurance it will be covered, if they don't have insurance they will only have to pay that which they can pay, if they can't afford anything it will be given to them for free", De Blasio said.

The epidemic commenced when an unvaccinated child obtained measles on a trip to Israel where a large epidemic of the disease is taking place as per the city health's department website. Here's how anxious you should be.

Officials fear increased travel during Passover among people who could carry measles to or from NY.

The first Brooklyn child with measles acquired the infection on a visit to Israel, where a large outbreak is occurring, according to the New York City Health Department. They blamed the spike partly on anti-vaccine campaigns spreading misinformation that immunizations are risky.

Some Orthodox Jews have resisted vaccines. Health officials ordered almost everyone in Williamsburg to be vaccinated for measles or face fines.

"It's true that a lot of people have measles and measles are not a very good thing, but I think the vaccine also not a very good thing", said Aron Braver, a neighbourhood resident. "What he decides", Braver added.

New Yorkers who believe they were exposed to measles or who have symptoms of measles should contact their health care provider before seeking care to prevent exposure to other patients.

"The overwhelming problem is Williamsburg", De Blasio said.

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To combat measles infection, the global health body urge parents and caregivers to protect their children by getting them immunized. Last week, the judge hearing their case agreed with them, stating the number of cases in the country - over 150 confirmed cases currently-didn't legally merit the need for the county's emergency order.

"If this is not an emergency, what is?" asked Day, a Republican. "And it was", Radhakrishnan said, referring to the development and widespread use of vaccines.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city would require unvaccinated individuals living in certain areas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to receive the measles vaccine in response to one of the largest measles outbreaks in decades. Those who refuse to get the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine face a $1,000 fine, de Blasio said.

To encourage immunization, the city has created the slogan, "Don't wait". Since the start of the year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tallied 465 measles cases in 19 states. Schools that don't comply face fines and closure.

News of the order got a mixed reaction in Williamsburg, with some residents - even those who support vaccination - saying they felt uncomfortable with the city pushing vaccines on people who don't want them.

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

Officials claimed to have eliminated the disease in 2000 but it has returned after anti-vaccination campaigns led to a drop in vaccination rates. "There are always going to be people who are either too young to get the vaccine or have medical contra-indications - meaning that they have medical conditions that preclude them being vaccinated".

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