New York County's measles 'ban' spurs vaccinations and protests

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

An emergency. Order in Rockland county, that's prohibiting unvaccinated minors from visiting public places is meeting scattered resistance this morning about ten people opposed to vaccines protested at the Palisades center, a large shopping mall in west Nyack. They said they should have the right to choose whether to vaccinate their children or not. But WNYC's Gwen HOGAN reports the county's health department sees the issue differently outside of free vaccination clinic yesterday afternoon. Rockland county officials say they didn't want it to come to this. We've gotten to the point where people were not cooperating this county attorney Thomas humpback. He says people known to have had the measles went to public places. Sometimes it was hard for the department to investigate. We were getting no answers or refused answers. And at that point it impairs the county's ability to help the general public avoid this disease for the. Next thirty days kids, who don't have the measles mumps rubella vaccine won't be allowed in enclosed public spaces like malls or trains, that's in addition to an earlier band the county put in place in December that prevented unvaccinated kids from attending schools county officials say they're not going to be proactively enforcing this latest ban. But if health department officials determine after the fact that it contagious child spread the measles in a public place to others, then the parents could face fines or jail time. Here's the county's health Commissioner, Dr Patricia Schnabel Rupert what we really want is the awareness to be increased. So that people say, you know, what I'm gonna get my job vaccinated. I don't want them home from school, and I will abide by this. And if it's important enough to have a state of emergency declared them, there must be a good reason of the three dozen or so people who came for free vaccination some had babies just old enough to get their shots. Just relax some immigrants who hadn't been vaccinated in their home countries. Others were there for a booster like Rene Kahan an orthodox Jewish woman who says she was vaccinated as a kid, but was recently tested again in didn't have immunity as a responsible citizen. I came to what have to do. My daughter is a nurse. And she said to me. You better do this health officials say about twenty eight percent of kids in the county are not vaccinated extremely low for a virus like measles where experts recommend upwards of ninety percent. The measles outbreak here has mostly occurred. Within the orthodox Jewish community though. The county has applied its ban on unvaccinated kids in the entire area. A group of parents of unvaccinated kids at a private school are suing for their children to be able to return to class Paul is one of those parents he did not want to use his last name in order to protect his child's identity. The county has taken our children as hostages to force us to vaccine there have been one hundred and fifty five confirmed measles cases since last October. No one

Coming up next