New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday a declared a public health emergency in a heavily Orthodox Jewish section of Brooklyn amid a growing measles outbreak.
As part of the declaration, people living in select zip codes of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood who have not been vaccinated against measles and may have been exposed to the virus will now be required to get the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
“There’s no question that vaccines are safe, effective and life-saving,” de Blasio said in a statement. “I urge everyone, especially those in affected areas, to get their MMR vaccines to protect their children, families and communities.”
The declaration requires all unvaccinated people in those areas who may have been exposed to the virus to get the vaccine, including children over 6 months old. People who resist could be fined $1,000.
“This will mandate vaccines for people living in the affected area. Department of Health will issue violations and fines for people who remain unvaccinated.”
Earlier this week, the city ordered religious schools and day care programs serving that community to exclude unvaccinated students or risk being closed down.
Since last October there have been 285 reported cases of measles in the area.
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