Parents facing fines of up to $3000 for not vaccinating their children

Parents facing fines of up to $3000 for not vaccinating their children

Three Brooklyn parents of unvaccinated children have been issued court summonses by New York City health officials, facing fines and possibly even imprisonment for failing to comply with an emergency order mandating measles inoculations. The city health department ordered all ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools in a neighborhood of Brooklyn on Monday to exclude unvaccinated students from classes during the current measles outbreak.

Measles is so contagious that up to 90 percent of unvaccinated or otherwise susceptible individuals who are exposed will become ill, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Parents refusing to vaccinate their children against the measles virus are facing fines amid an outbreak in NY.

(Seth Wenig/AP, FILE) A woman receives a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y., March 27, 2019.

The judge found the emergency declaration to be well-founded, and followed up, writing, "A fireman need not obtain the informed consent of the owner before extinguishing a house fire". "Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion". The disease has infected 329 New Yorkers since September, many of them children of Orthodox Jewish families living in Brooklyn, making it the worst "outbreak" since 1991 - though some have argued that 329 cases of a non-fatal disease in a city of 8.6 million people does not rise to the level of a "crisis".

Most cases have been reported from Williamsburg and Borough Park, Brooklyn.

Measles can be prevented through vaccinations.

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Robert Krakow, the parents' attorney, said that his clients were disappointed and that they were discussing next steps, according to the Journal.

On Thursday, officials showed they were ready to make good on that threat, calling three parents from separate households to appear in court for violating the order. The cases will go to a hearing, where the parent will be fined.

The city said its health authority is working with community leaders to ensure schools comply with emergency mandates.

In addition to the three people fined for being unvaccinated, the city also closed four additional schools for failure to provide vaccination and attendance records, the city said.

He said 3,300 children in Williamsburg - the epicenter of the outbreak - had not received their shots.

"The goal of this emergency order isn't to fine people", Barbot said.

According to city data, about 14% of the children aged one to five in Williamsburg still have not been immunized, Gothamist reports.

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