The first Brooklyn child with measles acquired the infection on a visit to Israel, where a large outbreak is occurring, according to the New York City Health Department. "I urge everyone, especially those in affected areas, to get their MMR vaccines to protect their children, families and communities".
The city's largest outbreak since 1991 of the once virtually eradicated disease has mainly been confined to the Orthodox Jewish community in the borough's Williamsburg neighborhood, with 285 cases confirmed since October, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference.
De Blasio's vaccination order applies to all people, including children over six months old, who may have been exposed to the virus. Anyone who resists could be fined up to US$1,000.
New York City is just one of seven locations around the country now experiencing a measles outbreak.
Public health nurse Deb Floren shows a vial of the measles vaccine Thursday at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building in Willmar. None proved fatal, but 21 patients required hospitalisation and five were admitted to intensive care.
This is the largest outbreak in the city in almost three decades.
"It is crucial for people to understand that [the] measles vaccine works, it is safe, it is effective, it is time-tested", said Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot.
NY has contended with measles outbreaks and the legal challenges that have arisen in efforts to contain them.
Measles is a highly contagious disease and can cause severe complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and death.
De Blasio, a Democrat, said officials were confident the order would withstand legal scrutiny.
Non-vaccinated minors were banned from public places in a bid to prevent the spread of the disease, and hundreds of people have now been vaccinated, according to authorities.
Schlesinger is trying to reverse false information being spread about the measles vaccine through the Orthodox community.
"This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately", Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said Tuesday. While it is possible to become infected with measles post-vaccination, the Mayo Clinic says it is unlikely, provided the immunizations are up-to-date. It lays out numerous anti-vaccine arguments that have been debunked by scientific studies, such as a claim that measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations increase the risk of autism.
Like all but three American states, NY requires a series of vaccinations for school-age children but has until now granted exemptions on both medical and religious grounds.
"In January, one yeshiva in Williamsburg fell out of compliance with the Department's exclusion mandate, allowing unvaccinated children back into school or daycare", the Health Department said in a news release.