"I urge everyone, especially those in affected areas, to get their MMR vaccines to protect their children, families and communities". "This is a public health emergency".
Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio echoed de Blasio's comments citing the safety and effectiveness of the MMR vaccine.
Officials say the outbreak is spreading due to a small group of anti-vaxxers.
"It's crucial for people to understand the measles vaccine works", de Blasio continued.
What's more, the more children in the community have it, the higher risk of exposure for kids with weakened immune systems and pregnant women, who need to avoid the virus. "We've seen a large increase in the number of people vaccinated in these neighbourhoods".
The health department in December ordered yeshivas and daycare centers in specific Brooklyn zip codes, populated largely with ultra-Orthodox, to exclude all non-vaccinated students until the end of the current measles outbreak.
"We try to control our school, and we really strive to comply 100% with the Department of Health", he said.
Outbreaks nationwide have forced state and city health officials to pursue tougher stances, such as mandatory vaccines or banning unvaccinated children from public places, prompting legal challenges and judicial intervention. All but 39 of the confirmed cases are in children. None proved fatal, but 21 patients required hospitalization and five were admitted to intensive care.
The resurgence of the once-eradicated, highly-contagious disease is linked to a growing anti-vaccine movement in richer nations - which the World Health Organization has identified as a major global health threat.
Schlesinger is trying to reverse false information being spread about the measles vaccine through the Orthodox community. Newborns, pregnant individuals, and those with weakened immune systems can not get vaccinated, so it is important that everyone around them be vaccinated in order to protect them from contracting the virus and prevent severe complications in these susceptible populations.
"We can not ignore the number of people becoming sick from the Measles in NY", said State Sen.
The declaration requires all unvaccinated people in those areas who may have been exposed to the virus to get the vaccine, including children over 6 months old. New Yorkers should call 311 to access a list of facilities that can provide MMR at low or no cost. The Associated Press reports that this is the largest measles outbreak in the city since 1991, and that NYC accounts for two-thirds of all cases reported in the US last week.
The CDC recommends that all children get two doses of measles vaccine.
The study was a follow-up of an earlier large study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 that also involved Danish children and also concluded that there "was no association between the age at the time of vaccination, the time since vaccination, or the date of vaccination and the development of autistic disorder".
New York's mandate comes as health officials have scrambled to blunt the spread of measles.