Mayor de Blasio declared a public health emergency over the measles outbreak in Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community, mandating vaccinations for people living in Williamsburg zip codes to stem the crisis. There were only two reported cases in 2017. "When people choose not to get their children vaccinated, they are putting their children and others - such as pregnant women, people on chemotherapy, and the elderly - at risk of contracting measles". There have been no deaths associated with this outbreak, although there have been complications, including 21 hospitalizations and five admissions to the intensive care unit.
City officials said Tuesday that 246 cases were in children.
Added de Blasio: "We can not allow this risky disease to make a comeback here in New York City". All residents in the affected areas have been told to get vaccinated or face a fine.
New York City on Tuesday, April 9, declared a public health emergency and ordered mandatory measles vaccinations amid an outbreak, becoming the latest national flashpoint over refusals to inoculate against risky diseases.
The city said it would help everyone covered by the order get the vaccine if it was not quickly available through their regular medical provider.
Those who have not been vaccinated or do not have evidence of immunity could be fined $1,000.
Officials fear increased travel during Passover among people who could carry measles to or from NY.
To date, 285 cases have been confirmed since the beginning of the outbreak in October, with numerous new cases being confirmed in the last two months.
Tuesday's announcement was the first time NY has ordered mandatory vaccinations in recent history, according to health officials.More news: Emilia Clarke is attached to her Game of Thrones character
The majority of religious leaders in Brooklyn's large Orthodox communities support vaccination efforts, said the city's health commissioner, Dr Oxiris Barbot, but rates have remained low in some areas because of resistance from some groups that believe the inoculations are risky.
Barbot cited a group of "anti-vaxxers" who are seeking to undermine the public health emergency.
"They're spreading this information through hotlines, some publications". "We stand with the majority of people in this community who have worked hard to protect their children and those at risk".
News of the order got a mixed reaction in Williamsburg, with some residents - even those who support vaccination - saying they felt uncomfortable with the city pushing vaccines on people who don't want them.
Many vaccine opponents believe medically baseless claims that inoculations can cause autism and other negative health effects. Ages of the infected range from 8 months to 63 years old, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said.
Barbot said 500 people would die each year in the '60s before there was a vaccine.
'I know that getting vaccinated is far safer than getting measles.
The city has also threatened to shut down yeshivas, or traditional Jewish religious schools, if they do not follow an order to keep unvaccinated children out of class. At least 285 people have contracted the disease in the city since September, mostly in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighbourhood.