Bill de Blasio orders mandatory vaccinations amid New York City measles outbreak

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Since last fall, almost 300 people, mostly children, have come down with measles in New York City, with the majority centered in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Williamsburg and Borough Park in Brooklyn.

In New York City late a year ago, the health department ordered yeshivas and childcare centres in the Orthodox Jewish community to keep out unvaccinated students.

"This is the epicentre of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately", de Blasio said.

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio echoed de Blasio's comments citing the safety and effectiveness of the MMR vaccine. While there have been no deaths, 21 people have been hospitalized and five have gone into ICU.

The study was a follow-up of an earlier large study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 that also involved Danish children and also concluded that there "was no association between the age at the time of vaccination, the time since vaccination, or the date of vaccination and the development of autistic disorder". "Those who have not received the MMR vaccine or do not have evidence of immunity may be given a violation and could be fined $1,000", Mayor De Blasio's office said in a statement.

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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. New York City accounted for about two-thirds of all U.S. measles cases reported last week. They blamed the spike partly on anti-vaccine campaigns spreading misinformation that immunizations are risky.

NY accounted for about two-thirds of all measles cases reported last week in the United States.

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".

There have been 285 cases in the area since 30 September. "But as a doctor, a public health practitioner, and a mom, I must warn you that exposing your unvaccinated child to measles is very risky, and it could even be deadly".

Last week, a judge ruled against an order in New York's Rockland County, temporarily halting an order from health officials there that barred unvaccinated children from public school.

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In Kentucky, a high school student sued state health officials after he was barred from playing basketball because he wasn't vaccinated for chickenpox. Called MMR, it protects against measles, mumps and rubella.

Non-vaccinated minors were banned from public places in a bid to prevent the spread of the disease, and hundreds of people have now been vaccinated, according to authorities.

The measles vaccine, which the CDC recommends children get two doses of, is 97 percent effective, according to health officials.

The National Institutes of Health says reports of serious reactions to vaccines are rare: about one in every 100,000 vaccinations.

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