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NYC Mandates Vaccines in Measles Outbreak, Threatening Fines

  • Contagious virus has afflicted 285 people since October
  • Williamsburg residents urged to get measles-mumps-rubella shot
A nurse preparing the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine on April 5, 2019.

A nurse preparing the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine on April 5, 2019.

Photographer: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Updated on

A measles outbreak in the Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has prompted New York City to declare a public health emergency, requiring residents to be vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine or face a $1,000 fine.

The highly contagious and potentially deadly virus has afflicted 285 New Yorkers since October, including 246 children, almost all of them in the tightly knit Orthodox Jewish community, in one of the city’s most dense neighborhoods. Twenty-one have been hospitalized, with five requiring intensive care, said city Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot.