At least 285 people have contracted the disease in the city since September, mostly in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood. Failure to vaccinate children results in a deterioration of this herd immunity, resulting in outbreaks of preventable diseases such as the one in Rockland. Advocates say no one should be forced to take the vaccine because of the side effects that could have long-lasting impacts.
So what happened? And, more importantly, what can we do to stop it?
As of Friday, measles - officially eliminated from the United States in 2000 - had struck 167 people in this county along the Hudson River, including nine new cases this week. This is due to the existence of a good number of unvaccinated citizens. There are also significant outbreaks in Washington state, California, Michigan and New Jersey.
The second factor is more hard to understand and explain. Anyone who is unable to locate their vaccination record should get the MMR vaccine, as it is not harmful to receive additional doses. The new position states "the use of such vaccines does not signify some sort of cooperation in voluntary abortion" and that parents have a "moral obligation to guarantee the vaccination coverage necessary for the safety of others".
The outbreak has largely been concentrated in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn. "Those who have the vaccination won't have to worry". To them, fear of the unknown outweighs fear of a disease that they have never seen in their lifetime.
The law would not affect the testing of pilots, truck drivers, law enforcers, construction workers, and workers who supervise children or medical patients. He claimed the vaccine was linked to autism and bowel disease. Vaccines do not contain any toxic ingredients, including mercury. It seems the only way to get the most stubborn parents to vaccinate their children is through the legal system. It is not better for a child to contract a disease and/or to build resistance naturally.
In the wake of measles outbreaks in recent months, some public health officials have created strict rules concerning unvaccinated children in public spaces, such as schools and houses of worship.
If a child in your school or facility exhibits signs or symptoms of measles, please do not send them to a health care facility unannounced. It can be spread by direct contact or through the air. One in four people who contracts the virus will need treatment in a hospital. "But we're also trying to help everyone understand there is urgency here".
I urge all parents who are concerned about vaccinating their children to talk to their healthcare providers. The judge ruled the health department hadn't discriminated against Kunkel. Many offer free or low-priced vaccines. "It is safe, it is effective, it is time-tested".
Harry Banschick, M.D., FAAP, is chairman of pediatrics at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck.