The Blazer

The Student News Site of World Journalism Preparatory School

The Blazer

The Blazer

NFL Draft Recap
NFL Draft Recap
May 17, 2024
Eternal Sunshine
Eternal Sunshine
May 16, 2024
FAFSA Turmoil
FAFSA Turmoil
May 14, 2024

Mayor Vows Action after Measles Outbreak in Brooklyn

Mayor Vows Action after Measles Outbreak in Brooklyn

In response to a measles outbreak among Orthodox Jewish communities, Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared a public health emergency in the affected neighborhoods. Since the start of the outbreak in October, 285 cases have been reported, with several cases requiring intensive care.

The spread of misinformation is seen as the main cause, such as a pamphlet produced by the Parents Educating & Advocating for Children’s Health (PEACH) which supports anti-vaccine viewpoints. Its effectiveness among their Jewish audience is buoyed by its inclusion of quotes from prominent Orthodox rabbis, such as Shmuel Kamenetsky, head of the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia. Kamenetsky has advocated for the right of yeshivas, religious Jewish educational institutions, to allow unvaccinated children.

A prominent worry among health officials is that the disease is spreading through “measles parties”, groups of children being intentionally exposed to infected people to build up immunity. Mayor De Blasio and the city health department have mandated that unvaccinated persons in the infected areas must get the MMR vaccine or must pay a $1000 fee. In addition, an order to stop unvaccinated children from attending Brooklyn schools was enacted back in December when the outbreak was just beginning.

The outbreak in Brooklyn parallels the other high profile outbreaks across the country. Further measures are being considered, including a bill introduced to the state legislature that would remove the religious exemption from taking vaccines.

More to Discover