City increases efforts to ensure measles vaccinations ahead of Passover holiday

Posted: Updated:

With Passover now a week away, the city continues to increase efforts to ensure people get the measles vaccine. 

The city declared a public health emergency earlier this week, with the numbers still disturbingly high in parts of the borough.

Despite the high numbers, officials say it seems like some of the city's outreach efforts are working.  Some health care professionals say they're seeing changes in the community with many parents who were on the fence before, are coming in to get their children immunized.

As of April 8, the city says there's been 285 confirmed cases across the city, with an alarming number of those cases in Brooklyn. There are 228 cases reported in Williamsburg alone.

Officials encourage everyone to get vaccinated as the Jewish holiday of Passover nears, when people travel a lot and spend time with extended family.

MORE: Professor: End religious exemption for vaccinations amid 'health crisis'

Considering the outbreak, a professor at the CUNY Graduate Center at Brooklyn College is calling on the state to pass a bill that's currently before the state assembly that would end the religious exemption for mandated school age vaccinations.

He says the bill is constitutional because the Supreme Court ruled in a prior case in 1944 that the right to practice religion freely does not include the liberty to expose the community to disease. He says no major religion supports the anti-vaccine movement, and information being spread by those who oppose vaccinations is based on fake science.

In New York, parents can claim a personal religious exemption based on individual beliefs regarding vaccinations.

For those who do not get vaccinated during the public health emergency or can't provide evidence of immunity could face a fine of $1,000.


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