LATEST PAPER
55° Good Afternoon
55° Good Afternoon
News

Measles outbreak prompts city to threaten yeshivas admitting unvaccinated kids

The city Health Department's warning was issued Monday as the number of measles cases in the Orthodox Jewish community rises. 

City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot urged parents

City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot urged parents to make sure their children get the vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella.   Photo Credit: Getty Images/Sean Gallup

The city Health Department is threatening to shut down yeshivas in Williamsburg that do not keep unvaccinated students out of their schools.

The order was issued Monday as the number of measles cases in the Orthodox Jewish community rises. Since the outbreak started in October, 285 cases of measles have been confirmed. Most cases are children under the age of 18 who did not complete their vaccinations or receive any vaccinations at all, according to the Health Department. 

Officials want to make sure people are vaccinated before traveling or gathering for the upcoming Passover holiday. Although officials said there are no deaths associated with the outbreak, but they said the highly contagious disease has led to 21 hospitalizations and five admissions to the intensive care unit. 

In December, the city told yeshivas and child care centers in Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn to bar unvaccinated children from attending their programs. One Williamsburg yeshiva allowed unvaccinated children, a move that lead to more than 40 cases alone, the Health Department said. 

Now officials said any yeshiva not complying with the rules will be hit with violations and could be closed. 

“As a pediatrician, I know the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine is safe and effective,” Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said in a statement. “This outbreak is being fueled by a small group of anti-vaxxers in these neighborhoods. They have been spreading dangerous misinformation based on fake science. We stand with the majority of people in this community who have worked hard to protect their children and those at risk.”

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

News photos & videos