Lawyer: Challenge to NYC's vaccination order in the works

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This comes as the number of confirmed measles cases continues to rise in Rockland County, and health officials on Tuesday ordered almost everyone in a heavily Orthodox Jewish New York City neighborhood to be vaccinated for measles or face fines.

As our partner in protecting the public's health, we need your assistance in educating parents and guardians about the dangers of measles and the benefits of vaccination.

"We can not allow this risky disease to make a comeback here in New York City", Mayor Bill de Blasio, D, said Tuesday.

But in the days that followed, parents from a private Waldorf school filed a lawsuit that called the ban "arbitrary" and "capricious".

And while the highly contagious respiratory disease has yet to hit Utahns, "we're only one airline flight within a case coming here", said Dr. Tamara Sheffield, medical director for community health and prevention at Intermountain Healthcare.

Mayor Bill de Blasio issued mandatory measles vaccination to people living in or near Williamsburg.

Officials from the Department of Health say it will impose fines of up to $1,000 on those who have not received the vaccine.

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The outbreak is centered in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities where vaccination rates are far below normal, due to some parents' objections.

The city has ceaselessly worked over the past year to raise awareness about Measles vaccinations.

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. The disease is transmitted when people who have not been vaccinated come into contact with others, so areas around global airports or proximity to communities who shun vaccines are of particular concern.

"There's no question that vaccines are safe, effective and life-saving", said de Blasio. The first cases in Westchester occurred in other secluded Hasidic Jewish enclaves, Nitra and nearby Kasho, CBS New York reports. Under the code, the health commissioner has the authority to declare public health emergencies and take reasonable action "necessary for the health and safety" to protect against an existing threat. Those who are uninsured will pay what they can afford, de Blasio said, and those who cannot afford the vaccination will receive it free. And that puts anyone with a compromised immune system in danger-including newborn babies who are too young to be vaccinated, pregnant women, and people with cancer or on immunosuppressive therapies because of transplants.

The vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella came under fire in a scientific paper by researcher Andrew Wakefield. "You have a larger pool of babies". Six of the children are siblings.

In 27 years of practicing medicine, Ruppert said, this is "one of the most challenging health crises I have had to deal with". Two additional cases were confirmed in Sullivan County.

"As a society we've said we'll allow a little bit of flexibility in our laws in order to give people a wider berth to exercise their personal beliefs", Indiana University public health law professor Ross D. Silverman recently told Wired magazine.

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