Brooklyn yeshivas defied vaccination order despite measles outbreak, NYC says

New York City's Health Department has cited several Yeshivas in Brooklyn for allowing unvaccinated children to attend class and infect other kids.

"As the city's doctor, and a pediatrician, I am very concerned that children without the measles vaccination, are at unnecessary risk for serious, and potentially fatal, symptoms related to measles," Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the city's health commissioner, said in a statement. "The outbreak is not over, and we will continue to see additional cases as long as unvaccinated students are not properly excluded from attending school."

More than 200 cases of measles have been reported since the fall; 161 of those cases are centered in Williamsburg's ultra-orthodox Jewish community, where vaccines are often regarded as against God's teachings and coincide with a general distrust of the government.

One resident told FOX 5 NY that many parents are probably avoiding vaccines because of fears of autism. But the research says something different: researchers have found no connection between the MMR vaccine and autism spectrum disorder.

Measles, however, is very contagious and life-threatening. The problem is severe and the views on vaccinations are conflicted, showing something of a schism in this disciplined culture.

The yeshivas in question are now working with city health officials. The outbreak began with a single unvaccinated child who visited Israel, where 3,400 people have fallen ill. Since then, others followed.