1,000 unvaccinated Brooklyn children received the MMR shot this week after New York City declared a state of emergency to control the measles outbreak
- Last week, 3,300 children in Williamsburg (14 percent of all children) had not been vaccinated
- Since the state of emergency was declared, 1,000 have got the shot
One thousand children in Brooklyn’s measles epicenter have received the MMR vaccine in the week since a state of emergency was declared, according to a report.
Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the mandatory vaccination of everyone – children and adults – in four Brooklyn ZIP codes affected by the outbreak of 329 measles cases and counting.
He said 3,300 children in Williamsburg – the epicenter of the outbreak – had not received their shots.
On Friday morning, officials revealed almost a third of them have complied.
Others have refused, however – driving health officials to shutter five schools and summon three parents to court, where they could face a $1,000 fine or jail time.
Since the state of emergency was declared, 1,000 children have got the MMR shot
While the measles shot can be administered separately in other countries, it is only offered as a combination MMR shot in the US.
New York is one of the many states that allows religious exemption, which means that vaccination rates are low in the Orthodox Jewish pockets, where many see it as against their faith to inject themselves with a foreign body.
And it is in those neighborhoods where the current measles outbreak has flourished.
Health Commissioner Dr Oxiris Barbot said: ‘Because of measles’ long incubation period, we know this outbreak will get worse before it gets better.
‘However, we can turn the tide by people getting vaccinated, especially before Passover when families and communities will gather.
‘We urge everyone to protect their children and their fellow New Yorkers by getting vaccinated immediately.’
On Thursday, city officials made gestures to show the state of emergency was not an empty threat by summoning the three parents to court – with the threat of more to come.