New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency in parts of Williamsburg and said unvaccinated people in several ZIP codes will be required to get an MMR vaccine as a measles outbreak continues to swell in the city.
Under the mandatory vaccinations, members of the city’s Health Department will check the vaccination records of any individual who may have been in contact with infected patients. 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.
A strong jump in measles cases over the past week in New York City forced the Health Department in taking a firm stand, telling yeshivas on Monday to close their doors to unvaccinated students or face closure and fines.
The mayor told NY1 on Monday: “What we’re seeing is very clear, children cannot — must not — go to school if they are not vaccinated.”
He went on to say that the school will be held responsible if an unvaccinated child attends classes there and reasserted the Health Department’s threat of fines and closure.
“We have a clear and present danger,” he said, according to the New York Post. “This is serious, serious stuff.”
There are currently over 280 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn, with the vast majority of those in Williamsburg.