NYC Issues “Order’ Regarding Under-Vaccinated Students

New York City private religious schools ordered to comply with measles vaccination guidelines

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The New York City (NYC) Health Department issued ‘Commissioner’s Orders’ to certain yeshivas (private schools) in the borough of Brooklyn regarding the ongoing measles outbreak. 

This Order of the Commission means that any school out of compliance with the December 2018 notice will immediately be issued a violation subject to fines and possible school closure. 

According to the NYC Charter, the Commissioner has the power to assess penalties up to $1,000 for violations or failures to comply with health notices. 

This Order is related to the ongoing 2018-2019 measles outbreak in the Orthodox Jewish community in NYC. 

As of April 8, 2019, NYC has confirmed 285 measles cases since October 2018, with many of these new cases being confirmed in the last month. 

The urgency of this Order is related to Passover, a major religious holiday, scheduled for April 19, 2019. 

The NYC Health Department is urging all New Yorkers to get the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine to prevent further spread of the virus. 

Moreover, individuals traveling to areas with ongoing large outbreaks, including Israel, England, Ukraine, New Jersey, Michigan, and Rockland County New York should ensure they and their children are appropriately immunized prior to departure, says the Health Department. 

Rockland County NY is located 15 miles north of NYC, previously took similar legal actions against under-vaccinated residents.   

NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said in a press release, “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.” 

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Measles is a highly contagious disease and can cause pneumonia, encephalitis, and death. Measles is easily preventable with the safe and effective MMR vaccine. 

While the MMR vaccine is the safest and most effective method of preventing measles, it is only 97 percent effective, so population-wide immunity is a key component to protecting our most at risk New Yorkers from measles. 

But, to achieve ‘herd-immunity’ for those who can’t get vaccinated, such as newborns, and pregnant individuals, it is important that everyone around them is vaccinated in order to protect them from contracting the virus. 

New Yorkers who believe they were exposed to measles or who have symptoms of measles should contact their health care provider before seeking care to prevent exposure to other patients. 

For more information about this Order of the Commission, visit the NYC’s Health Department’s Measles page. 

MMR vaccinations services are offered by most pharmacies in the USA. 

Vaccine discount coupons can be found at GoodRx. 

Vaccines can cause side effects, which should be reported to a healthcare provider of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.