New York State Bans All Unvaccinated Children Under-18 Due to Emergency over Measles Outbreak

Rockland County in New York City is taking swift action to contain the virus outbreak that has affected around 153 people in the county.

Little kid with measles. | Source: Flickr

Little kid with measles. | Source: Flickr

The county is facing a major crisis due to measles outbreak, which has mostly affected its children. Around 84 percent of the victims are found to be below the age of 18.

Now it has taken a strict decision of banning all children under 18 years of age from public spaces until they are vaccinated. The ban is placed for a period of 30 days.

The unvaccinated children are restricted from accessing all the places where public may amass. This includes restaurants, shops, schools, and even houses of worship.

County Executive Edwin J. Day, who issued the ban, told the press, “We will not sit idly by while children in our community are at risk. This is a public health crisis and it's time we sound the alarm."

Day stressed that the situation in Rockland County is indeed dire, which has called for such a drastic preventive measure to be taken.

Vaccination. | Source: Flickr

Vaccination. | Source: Flickr

He further clarified that the ban will not ask the law enforcement officials to go around asking for people’s vaccination records.

However, the law may hold the parents of unvaccinated children accountable in case of violation, and charge them with class B misdemeanor.

Day also provided a further distressing statistics that the measles outbreak had now lasted in their county for over 25 weeks, which is the longest outbreak of measles in the US ever since it was eradicated in 2000.

According to CBS New York, the local residents of the county have provided mixed reactions to the emergency order.

Measles vaccination. | Source: Flickr

Measles vaccination. | Source: Flickr

One of the residents, Alexa Rosenfeld, welcomed the decision and told the source, “I think it’s a great idea. If you’re not going to vaccinate your kids, sit home.”

Voicing a contrary opinion to this, Joshua Gold dubbed the decision to be “draconian” and “unenforceable.”

To provide unvaccinated children an opportunity to be safe from the virus, the Department of Health will be holding free MMR vaccination Wednesday afternoon from 1 pm to 3 pm on the second floor of building A of the Robert Yeager Health Center, CBS reported.

The measles outbreak has been on the rise since early this year leading to increasing fear among US parents.

Previously, the state of Washington also declared public health emergency in the wake of the increasing number of confirmed cases of measles.