NYC's New Policy on Measles Vaccine Prompts Renewed Focus in NJ

13 April, 2019, 08:38 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Measles outbreak 2019 NYC

The nation's largest measles outbreak in almost two decades continues with the latest outbreak in New York City causing Mayor Bill de Blasio to declare a public health emergency.

Officials say none of the sick children attend public schools or go to child care programs. But you don't need to go as far as Madagascar - common tourist destinations like England, France, Italy and Greece had measles outbreaks a year ago.

That fact places this community at the heart of the vaccination debate, raising the risk of fueling anti-Semitism, said Gary Siepser, president of the Jewish Foundation of Rockland County. Six of the infected children are siblings.

Like all but three U.S. states, NY requires a series of vaccinations for school-age children but has until now granted exemptions on both medical and religious grounds.

When people choose not to get their children vaccinated, they are putting their children and others - such as pregnant women, people on chemotherapy, and the elderly - at risk of contracting measles. The DOH is also working closely with the Ocean County Health Department and provided it a tent and extra vaccines to help inoculate more residents last fall; the state also supported the county's call to keep unvaccinated students home from schools.

As anti-vaccination movements continue to rise, Coffey explained that the widespread opposition to vaccination is mainly based in false news about side effects. There is no excuse to use a public health issue - an outbreak we are suffering from - as a platform from which to spew poisonous anti-Semitic rhetoric. He said he was "unapologetically pro-vaccine".


Anyone who would like to receive a vaccine at one of these clinics should register in advance for an appointment at www.health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/60.

Symptoms of measles appear about 10 to 12 days after exposure, Amler said. It is transmitted through the air and on surfaces and is contagious before and after bumps show up, which is why it transfers so quickly from person to person.

Latimer said it would be under Amler's authority to declare any county-wide measures to contain the spread of the virus. We all have our individual rights guaranteed to us under the Constitution.

Health officials have made robocalls urging vaccination to more than 30,000 Williamsburg households and have stocked health care providers in the community with an ample supply of vaccine, Palacio said. Before researchers developed a vaccine, this disease once affected millions in the USA and hospitalized tens of thousands every year. The news was good: Measles declined worldwide by almost 80 percent between 2000 and 2016, with fatalities - mostly among children younger than age 5 - plummeting to about 90,000 per year from about 550,000.

"I think it's unfortunate in this day and age that people are still that uneducated and fearful when it comes to vaccinations", Jasey said Wednesday. Protection against an infectious disease will occur only if at least 93 percent of a child's community is vaccinated.

At a time when Rockland County is attempting to get a grip on the measles epidemic and efforts to convince unvaccinated residents to get the MMR shots, new cases of the virus have been confirmed in adjacent counties.

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