New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered residents of a Brooklyn neighborhood to undergo mandatory vaccinations or pay a fine.
Declaring a public health emergency Tuesday, the mayor insisted the order was necessary to address the measles “crisis” in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg community, a neighborhood of more than 250 ultra-Orthodox Jewish residents.
“The declaration requires all unvaccinated people who may have been exposed to the virus to get the vaccine, including children over 6 months old,” reports the Associated Press.
The order affects people residing, going to school or working within four ZIP codes: 11205, 11206, 11221 and 11237.
De Blasio said anyone in these areas must receive the measles vaccine or get fined up to $1,000.
“We have a very dangerous situation on our hands,” de Blasio stated. “We cannot allow this dangerous disease to make a comeback here in New York City. We have to stop it now.”
“If people will simply cooperate quickly, nobody will have to pay a fine,” the mayor added.
The New York City Health Department has also issued an order to yeshivas to prohibit unvaccinated students from attending classes or face a fine.
Unnamed “neighborhood officials” say a “vast majority” in the Williamsburg community are vaccinated, but are blaming “a small number of anti-vaxers” for the outbreak, according to CBS News.