"The City has worked aggressively to end this outbreak, and today's declaration of a public health emergency and new vaccine mandate, in combination with the blanket Commissioner's Orders for yeshivas, ensures we are using every tool to protect New Yorkers".
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn on Tuesday, ordering all residents to be vaccinated to contain a measles outbreak concentrated in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
His order noted that the outbreak has persisted despite earlier orders "excluding unvaccinated children from attending preschools and daycare programs, because a high rate of people living within Williamsburg have not been vaccinated against measles" and this his department is "responsible for controlling communicable diseases".
The order applies to anyone living, working or going to school in areas under four postcodes in the neighbourhood and requires all unvaccinated people at risk of exposure to the virus to get the vaccine, including children over six months old. "They have been spreading risky misinformation based on fake science", Barbot said.
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. He also said that concerns about an unsupported link between the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and autism have contributed to some people refusing vaccination and remaining unprotected against the disease.
In the city alone, 285 cases have been confirmed - 246 of which have been in children. "But as a doctor, a public health practitioner, and a mom, I must warn you that exposing your unvaccinated child to measles is very unsafe, and it could even be deadly".
As skepticism over vaccines has increased in recent years, the number of cases of preventable diseases has spiked accordingly.
"I know that parents may be afraid of getting their child vaccinated, but as a pediatrician, I know that getting vaccinated is far safer than getting measles", said NYC Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. City health officials said Monday that yeshivas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that do not comply will face fines and possible closure. It is safe, it is effective, it is time-tested.
"We urge everyone who can get vaccinated to get vaccinated", Barbot said.
"We're making clear that unvaccinated students will not be allowed in schools or day cares", de Blasio said.
Michigan's measles outbreak dates back to March 13, when the health department reported that the first case came from someone "visiting from Israel following a stay in NY".