The city of New York declared a state of medical emergency following a measles outbreak and made it compulsory for citizens to get vaccinated. The vaccination obligation applies to all people living in the affected areas of Brooklyn, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at a press conference.
The affected area in Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, is the home of an Orthodox Jewish community. The New York mayor’s office said they approached the community both in English and Yiddish.
Almost 300 cases of measles have been registered since October 2018, while there were only two in the whole of 2017. De Blasio claims it is the fault of the anti-vaccination movement which is gaining influence in the US. They question the safety of vaccinations. “It is crucial that people understand that measles vaccines work: it is safe, it is effective, it has been tested,” the mayor said.
He also warned of “measles parties,” where parents expose their children to measles infection to make them immune.