Israel’s Health Ministry is urging all those who have put off vaccinating their children against measles to bring their children immediately to one of many Tipat Halav children’s health clinics for their shots, as the number of cases of potentially lethal illness has been soaring in the Jerusalem area.
On Sunday, the Health Minister announced that some hospital wards, such as intensive care and oncology, would hereby be off-limits to all those who have not received a measles vaccine.
A particularly aggressive campaign of vaccination was put in place by ultra-Orthodox Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman in several haredi neighbors in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, where rates of vaccination are particularly low—around 50 percent.
Starting on Monday, Tipat Halav centers in Ramot, Givat Shaul, Ramat Eshkol, Romema, Sanhedria and Ramat Shlomo in Jerusalem, as well as centers in Beit Shemesh and Beitar Illit, will be open every day until late for the next two weeks to attempt to ward off the illness, which is described as extremely contagious and particularly dangerous to small children, pregnant women, the old and the infirm.
Additional mobile vaccination clinics were also dispatched to areas where the highest concentration of infection has been noted.
Some 753 cases of measles have been reported to authorities in Jerusalem, with more than 1,300 cases since the beginning of 2018.
A report by Hadashot news Sunday night said that 90 to 95 percent of the people who were infected with measles in the latest outbreak were unvaccinated.
Last week, an 18 month-old unvaccinated child died of measles in Jerusalem.
On Sunday, a child from the affluent south Jerusalem neighborhood of Arnona was diagnosed with measles. Her daycare, as well as the neighboring one, was closed, with parents urged to vaccinate their children or give them booster shots because of the exposure.
Also on Sunday, two high-school seniors who had never been vaccinated were diagnosed with measles in the Golan city of Katzrin.
On Friday, 17 children from the Chassidic neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Borough Park in Brooklyn, N.Y., were reported to have the disease, as well as several children in London’s Stanford Hill neighborhood.