New York City officials on Tuesday declared a public health emergency and ordered mandatory measles vaccinations to halt an outbreak concentrated among ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, putting in place the broadest vaccination order in the United States in almost three decades.
Lawyer Michael Sussman said Wednesday that the city overreached its authority by threatening to fine residents of four Brooklyn ZIP codes if they refuse to have their children vaccinated.
The state of emergency banned anyone who is under 18 years of age and unvaccinated against the measles from public places in Rockland County.
Mr Harris said that choosing not to vaccinate a child was not just a personal decision because it affected other children's health. "We have to stop it now", de Blasio said at a news conference Tuesday.
The health officials will try to persuade any unvaccinated person who has been exposed to measles to get the vaccine. The new position states "the use of such vaccines does not signify some sort of cooperation in voluntary abortion" and that parents have a "moral obligation to guarantee the vaccination coverage necessary for the safety of others".
The city's health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, said that the majority of religious leaders in Brooklyn's large Orthodox communities support vaccination efforts, but that rates have remained low in some areas because of resistance from some groups that believe the inoculations are unsafe. Although it would be easy to take this as a one-off, there have already been six outbreaks of measles in the U.S.in the last three months according to the CDC.
The measles outbreak in NY has spread to two more counties.
In neighboring Rockland County, there are 173 confirmed cases of measles. Anyone who is unable to locate their vaccination record should get the MMR vaccine, as it is not harmful to receive additional doses.
"Vaccines are safe and effective - and they work."
Netanyahu on clearer path to victory in close Israel vote:exit polls
His attacks on the Arab sector fuelled calls for a boycott and appeared to result in relatively low turnout by Arab voters. Anti-Semitism has been a highly debated topic in recent months following critical comments from freshman Muslim Rep.
In the United States, courts have supported officials in overriding individual rights to protect public health, said Dorit Reiss, professor at U.C. Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.
"If people will simply cooperate quickly, nobody will have to pay a fine", de Blasio said.
"That is the defining experience which is what it may take to break through with those who are not vaccinating their children", he added.
"There is an element of anti-vaccine supporters and sympathizers who do not want to get shots".
"Measles is a risky, potentially deadly disease that can easily be prevented with vaccine", Dr. Herminia Palacio, deputy mayor for Health and Human Services explained.
"Once you delay it a few months, you exponentially increase the vector for infection", said Begun, who said families of eight to 10 children are typical in his practice.
"It is not the authority of the general government, county executive or legislators to make those declarations, and I think that is as it should be", Latimer said.
The objective is to raise the vaccination rate from the current 72 percent, Ruppert said. Six of the children are siblings.