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Kirsten Gillibrand: "We should ... educate New Yorkers about the importance of vaccines"

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — a 2020 presidential contender — released a statement of support on Saturday for the action Rockland County, a small suburb of Manhattan, is taking to combat the "horrible measles outbreak."

Driving the news: Rockland County declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, barring unvaccinated children under age 18 from countywide public spaces unless they are under 6 months or have a medical exemption. The community — which only had a 72.9% vaccination rate in people under 18 — is paying the price with 156 cases reported as of March 28.

"This outbreak is particularly dangerous to the most vulnerable among us, including infants who are not yet old enough to receive a vaccine, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other underlying health issues. We should be doing everything we can to end this public health crisis and educate New Yorkers about the importance of vaccines.”
— Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's statement

Go deeper: Measles cases will "certainly surpass 2018 due to lack of vaccinations