Three Brooklyn parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids against measles are summoned to court where they could face a $1,000 fine or jail time for flouting the state of emergency
- The parents all live within the four Brooklyn ZIP codes that are in a ‘state of emergency’
- They have been ordered to vaccinate everyone – children and adults – against measles to control the outbreak
- Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that people who flouted the rule would face a $1,000 fine
- On Thursday, city officials made gestures to show it was not an empty threat by summoning three parents to court
- Health officials have admitted they are particularly nervous about Passover, when there are many community events
Three New York City parents who refuse to vaccinate their children have been summoned to court where they could face a $1,000 fine or jail time.
They all live within the four Brooklyn ZIP codes that have been ordered in a ‘state of emergency’ to vaccinate everyone – children and adults – against measles to control a growing outbreak, which has spread quickly in the Orthodox Jewish community.
Since the order was imposed last week, 1,000 children have received the MMR vaccine, but officials say many more are left.
The summonses were issued on Thursday, moments after a court rejected a lawsuit from California anti-vaxxer attorney Robert F Kennedy, on behalf of five Brooklyn mothers, who branded the state of emergency anti-Semitic and unlawful.
Health officials also shuttered another four schools in Brooklyn – after closing down a pre-school earlier this week – for refusing to confirm or deny that all of their attendees had received the MMR shot.
Now five schools have been closed in Brooklyn, including a pre-school (pictured) for refusing to confirm or deny whether all kids had been vaccinated
New York City now has 329 cases of measles recorded since October, up from 285 when the state of emergency was declared on April 9.
In a bid to curb the outbreak, health officials are trying to track down anyone who might have come into contact with people who have measles.
Their efforts have intensified as Passover, which starts on Friday night and lasts for a week, approaches.
Health Commissioner Dr Oxiris Barbot said: ‘Because of measles’ long incubation period, we know this outbreak will get worse before it gets better.
‘However, we can turn the tide by people getting vaccinated, especially before Passover when families and communities will gather.
‘We urge everyone to protect their children and their fellow New Yorkers by getting vaccinated immediately.’
On Thursday, city officials made gestures to show the state of emergency was not an empty threat by summoning the three parents to court – with the threat of more to come.