Williamsburg Residents Divided on Vaccines, Despite Mayor's Health Emergency Declaration

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Some public health experts say the issue highlights a growing tension between infectious disease vaccination requirements and the religious liberty arguments increasingly relied upon to justify denying inoculations. While vaccination rates in certain schools and for preschoolers may be lower, vaccination is the clear societal norm in Orthodox Jewish communities. Infected individuals, who may have included visiting scholars from Israel, not staff or students, are known to have traveled through two BMG facilities on several dates in March, the DOH reported.

"Parents should definitely vaccinate their kids", Fuel said in Spanish, as she stood on the corner of Havemeyer and Division Street. It has called out for varied significant vaccinations for preventing the same.

Once a common childhood disease, measles has been drastically reduced over the decades through immunizations, which the medical profession generally considers safe, effective and critically important.

He also represents parents in Rockland County, a New York City suburb with a large Orthodox Jewish community, who challenged a local government executive order barring unvaccinated children from indoor public spaces.

The most recent tally by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 465 cases across the U.S.so far this year, two-thirds of them in NY state. In fact, according to Keith Holyoak, a UCLA Distinguished Professor of Psychology, it may be "more effective to accentuate the positive reasons to vaccinate and take a non-confrontational approach... than directly trying to counter the negative arguments against vaccines".

Dr. Puthenmadam Radhakrishnan is a pediatrician in Ewing. "I don't think they should be getting fined, I think another penalty should be given", said Charlette Hamlin, 36, who is in favor of vaccinations for all. Almost one in four kindergartners in one Washington county did not receive vaccinations, according to state data.

"There should be policies to protect people's different views", Gruber said. She said that she believes vaccination is the right choice, though she knows families who said their children developed autism after being vaccinated.

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Against this background, some NY state lawmakers this week proposed a law to end vaccination exemptions.

"You will not find rabbis citing Jewish law to say people should not be vaccinated", he said, stressing that his federation, like other Jewish organizations, encourages vaccination. Of the 285 cases, 21 people have been hospitalized and five have been admitted to the intensive care unit.

Public health is important, Lane continued, but it shouldn't restrict someone's ability to refuse medical treatment.

"We try always to respect religious rights, religious customs, but when it comes to public health, when we see a problem emerge, we have to deal with it aggressively", de Blasio said. As a result, it has been too easy for misinformation about vaccines to take root and spread, because parents have the luxury of fearing the vaccines instead of the diseases.

The mayor's order, announced Tuesday, mandated that everyone who lives, works or attends school in the affected area get immunized against the disease within 48 hours or face a $1,000 fine.

But Michael Weinstein, director of the New Jersey Immunization Network, called the mayor's move "the right thing to do", given the high case numbers and population density in NY.

The city's action "puts the correct spotlight on this", he said, adding, "There was a need for a little shake-up here".

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