Hundreds of cases of the measles have prompted a public health emergency in New York City.
“We cannot allow this dangerous disease to make a comeback here in New York City. We have to stop it now,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday.
City officials are requiring unvaccinated people living in certain areas of Brooklyn to get the MMR vaccine or face a fine of $1,000.
The extreme measure is being taken to protect what’s called “herd immunity.”
“The more people you have vaccinated, the less likely one single sick person will then cause an outbreak,” explained New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbo. “When we fall below a critical number of individuals being vaccinated, then you lose that protection.”
Just north of New York City, Rockland County leaders were frustrated by a judge’s ruling that put a temporary hold on mandated vaccinations there.
“This outbreak is an imminent threat to our public health,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day. “You have to not be paying attention to not understand that.”
So far in 2019, the Centers for Disease Control has reported 465 cases of measles in 19 states.