NYC Mandates Measles Vaccinations; Merck (NYSE:MRK) Is The Exclusive Manufacturer

A nurse prepares the measles mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department

The city health department ordered all ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools in a neighborhood of Brooklyn on Monday to exclude unvaccinated students from classes during the current measles outbreak.

Civil rights attorney Michael Sussman called the order threatening to fine residents of four ZIP codes in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn if they refuse to have their children vaccinated "an overreach of authority".

In March, state health officials banned unvaccinated children from attending schools, visiting shopping malls, and even occupying public places in Rockland County. But a judge last week overturned it, saying it's not yet a clear emergency.

Dr Oxiris Barbot, the New York City health commissioner, said there had been reports of "measles parties" in the area in which parents deliberately expose their children to measles so that they become naturally immune after contracting the virus.

The spreading anti-vaccination movement has contributed to 285 confirmed cases, including 21 requiring hospitalization, since the outbreak began this fall. There have been 168 cases reported in Rockland since the fall.

Anyone who visited the property outside that timeframe is not at risk from that particular exposure, health officials said. "And the reason the city government is empowered in a public health emergency is to save lives".

Mayor Bill de Blasio: The only way to stop this outbreak is to ensure that those who have not been vaccinated get the vaccine.

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In a Twitter post, Mayor de Blasio emphasized that "vaccines are safe and effective-and that they work". Six of the infected children are siblings. It seems the only way to get the most stubborn parents to vaccinate their children is through the legal system.

Let's also not forget the other life-saving vaccines that protect us against such potentially deadly diseases as polio, hepatitis B, pneumococcal pneumonia, the flu, Haemophilus influenza type B, and HPV, which can cause cervical and throat cancers.

The health minister said that he would consult European Union colleagues on how to make vaccines compulsory following an increase in the number of measles and mumps cases.

"Our goal is to get people vaccinated", he said. Most of these cases were found in unvaccinated or partially unvaccinated people, a majority of whom are children. But they said they were taking additional steps to control the outbreak in advance of Passover, when some families may travel overseas to areas in Israel or Europe that are experiencing measles outbreaks. "I don't think they should be getting fined, I think another penalty should be given", said Charlette Hamlin, 36, who is in favor of vaccinations for all.

The law would not affect the testing of pilots, truck drivers, law enforcers, construction workers, and workers who supervise children or medical patients.

Now, Hortez told The Washington Post last week, of the 15 counties with the most nonmedical vaccine exemptions, half are reporting measles cases.

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