Health officials urge measles vaccinations ahead of holiday travel

Posted: Updated:

Health officials on Long Island say they are worried that measles cases in Westchester County and Brooklyn could potentially spread to Long Island because of holiday travel plans for Passover and Easter in the upcoming weeks.

Since late December, there have been more than 450 confirmed cases of the measles statewide. It was a disease that was considered eradicated almost 20 years ago.

Nassau hasn't had a case since 2013. Suffolk had a case in 2017, but health officials say it was contracted overseas.

Nassau's health commissioner warned Thursday that everyone should be vaccinated against the measles.

Overall, doctors say vaccination rates on Long Island are high. Both counties have a vaccination rate above 98%. It's over 97% in private Nassau schools. It's lower in Suffolk, at 90%.

Conservative Rabbi Charles Klein, of the Merrick Jewish Centre, says he believes in vaccinations and is concerned about the disease spreading. But he says the idea that the disease might spread more quickly between Jewish families traveling between the Hudson Valley, Brooklyn and Long Island doesn't make sense. He says those communities generally don't mix with others.

Nassau residents can get the vaccine from their health care providers, or they can visit the NUMC Primary Care Clinic located at 2201 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY, 11554. Vaccines will also be provided at the Long Island Federally Qualified Centers listed below. Immunizations will be provided to anyone who visits these facilities, regardless of whether they have health insurance.

Nassau's Long Island Federally Qualified Centers:
Elmont Family Health Center - 161 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont, NY, 11003
Hempstead Family Health Center - 135 Main St., Hempstead, NY, 11550
Freeport-South Ocean Care Family Health Center - 101 South Bergen Place, Freeport, NY, 11520
Oceanside Family Health Center - 3227 Long Beach Road Suite 2,Oceanside, NY, 11572
Roosevelt Family Health Center - 380 Nassau Road, Roosevelt, NY, 11575
Westbury Family Health Center - 682 Union Ave., Westbury, NY, 11590

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