Addressing the Measles Outbreaks in New York

April 16, 2019

By: Kerry Fierstein, MD Pediatric Health Associates (Plainview, New York)

Dear Parents & Caregivers,

Measles outbreaks in Brooklyn and Rockland have put public health on the front page of our newspapers. A disease which had been declared eliminated from North America in 2002, is once again scaring parents, doctors and government officials.

Things to know:
-When Measles vaccine rates in a community fall below 95%, measles virus comes back.
-Measles is very contagious and it is difficult to avoid exposure when measles is in the community.
-Children with measles commonly have serious complications.
-There is no treatment for measles, but we can prevent it with the measles vaccine.
-Measles vaccine is safe and effective.
-Measles vaccine is given as part of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) or the MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella, varicella.)
-Measles vaccine is recommended at 12 months and again at 4-6 years of age. After the first dose 93% of children are immune to measles. After the second dose 97% of children are immune to the measles.
– The second measles vaccine may be given as soon as 28 days after the first one and still fulfill all school requirements.
-Infants 6-12 months of age who are going into high-risk areas may receive an early dose of vaccine, but would still need two more doses after one year of age.
-There are measles outbreaks in Brooklyn (mostly Williamsburg and Borough Park) and Rockland with isolated cases surrounding those areas. Westchester cases are starting to rise.
-Travel outside of the US is considered high risk.

Things to do:
-Vaccinate your infant for measles on time, at 12-15 months.
-Tell your pediatrician if your child is traveling internationally (or visiting a local area of outbreak.) If the child is 6-12 months, an early MMR should be given. If the child has only had one vaccine, it may make sense to give the second vaccine early.
– Speak out against anti-vaccine propaganda in social media. We can not allow the anti-vaccine minority to drown out well-established science and put our children at risk.

To learn more about the Allied Physicians Group vaccine schedule visit,

Allied Physicians Group is a partnership of more than 150 dedicated, caring physicians and 350 highly trained support staff. Allied serves over 180,000 patients with offices throughout Greater New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and beyond. Founded in 2006, Allied Physicians Group is a recognized leader in increasing healthcare efficiencies and patient satisfaction, emphasizing support, innovation, and collaboration. If you are looking for a Pediatrician near you click here or for more information please visit