In Rockland County, the local Jewish community represents about one-third of county inhabitants, including a large number of Orthodox Jews.
In the face of this crisis, schools in Washington and NY are keeping unvaccinated children out of classes, and Rockland County executive Ed May declared that they should be barred from all public places in the county. A state judge sided with the parents and issued a preliminary injunction against the emergency order.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday he's confident that New York City's vaccination order would survive any legal challenge. "We've seen a large increase in the number of people vaccinated in these neighborhoods, but as Passover approaches, we need to do all we can to ensure more people get the vaccine". Some of those who've succumbed to the illness have been purposely infected with the disease, as parents in parts of New York City have been hosting "measles parties" to help spread the illness from those already infected to those who haven't been vaccinated.
Anyone who has not been vaccinated in Westchester may call the health department for a free injection - 914-995-5800 for an appointment.
Governor of Washington Jay Inslee also declared a state of emergency in January, urging immunization and citing the measles outbreak as "an extreme public health risk", according to a CNN article. Anyone who is unable to locate their vaccination record should get the MMR vaccine, as it is not harmful to receive additional doses.
"This is a public health emergency", the Democratic mayor said. On Monday, New York City's Health Department reiterated its December order to yeshivas in Williamsburg, instructing them to exclude unvaccinated children from school and day care. "Even the hospital didn't know what it was at first, but now they figured it out". There's no room for misinformation when it comes to protecting our children. And so they're subjecting their children to a painful illness with high fevers and rash that has already hospitalized 10 percent of those who've contracted it in NY, including five who were serious enough to need intensive care. Measles is so contagious that 90 percent of all unvaccinated children and adults who come in contact with an infected person will contract the virus.
"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.
Instead, failure to vaccinate often is due to unfounded fears among people of all religions, cultures, ethnicities, and financial means.
Begun said he believes the city's vaccination order will be effective.
When parents choose not to vaccinate their children, they endanger not only their own child, but also the entire society which surrounds them.
Now, Hortez told The Washington Post last week, of the 15 counties with the most nonmedical vaccine exemptions, half are reporting measles cases.