COMPLETE VIDEO: 162nd CityLaw Breakfast with Dr. Oxiris Barbot, Commissioner, DHMH

Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot with Dean Anthony W. Crowell and Professor Ross Sandler. Image Credit: CityLaw

On Thursday, September 5, 2019, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot spoke at the 162nd CityLaw Breakfast at New York Law School. Dr. Barbot was introduced by Professor Ross Sandler, Director of the Center for New York City Law, with remarks by Dean Anthony W. Crowell. Dr. Barbot spoke on “Measles: NYC Policy and Thoughts on Anti-Vaccine Movement.”

Dr. Barbot’s speech focused on her experiences during the 2018-2019 Measles outbreak crisis in New York City. She explained that three areas were focused on in tackling this crisis: public health measures, legal actions, and social messaging and community outreach. She noted that the lack of vaccinations amongst some communities have put the City’s children at high risk. Dr. Barbot stated that drastic action was needed to combat the outbreak and for the first time, a public health emergency order had to be used. In terms of legal actions taken, Dr. Barbot explained that the mandatory vaccination policy was not to penalize communities but rather to make it easier for them to get vaccinated. During this crisis, Dr. Barbot noted that the Health Department spent six million dollars on resources, including investigations of suspected measles cases by the agency.

Dr. Barbot said that the next step in dealing with the measles crisis was to tackle the issue of vaccine incompetency and to be accountable for vaccine misinformation. She noted that messaging on vaccinations should not only be spread by government actors but also trusted community members. She emphasizes that the threat from measles still exists and although the outbreak is over, it is important for all New Yorkers are vaccinated and receive accurate information about vaccines. She believes that there is “merit in fact-based discussion so individuals feel grounded in their decisions.”

Dr. Barbot stated that individuals have the responsibility to care for their own individual health and also the health of the overall community.


To watch the live stream, click here.



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One thought on “COMPLETE VIDEO: 162nd CityLaw Breakfast with Dr. Oxiris Barbot, Commissioner, DHMH

  1. My responsibility is to protect myself and my family. I am not going to put myself at risk for injury or death for some mythical concept of medical herd immunity. Why isn’t public health concerned with the 54% of children in this country with chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, anaphylactic allergies, brain injury, seizure disorders, autoimmune diseases, asthma etc.?
    Harvard-Pilgrim study
    Electronic Support for Public Health – Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (ESP:VAERS) (Massachusetts) | AHRQ National Resource Center; Health Information Technology: Best Practices Transforming Quality, Safety, and Efficiency
    Vaccine injury and death is real. Hardly a trade off for a self limiting infection that lasts a week or so and harms almost no one. We now know how to treat measles and the other childhood illnesses. They were never feared until a vaccine was created for them.

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