A driving factor behind Brooklyn’s measles outbreak is the circulation of a magazine called PEACH (Parents Educating and Advocating for Children’s Health), a religious illustrated handbook that demonizes vaccines with alarming drawings and storylines.
Blima Marcus, an Orthodox Jewish nurse in Williamsburg, is trying to counteract PEACH with her own magazine (PIE, Parents Informed and Educated).
Marcus warns the situation is incredibly complex, with layers of cultural beliefs and deep-rooted concerns that could be intensified with a hard-line approach.
‘It’s not getting to the root of the problem,’ Marcus told Gothamist of the state of emergency Mayor De Blasio declared this week.
‘The government needs to put their efforts into understanding the root cause of the hesitancy and fears of vaccinating and addressing that…What you really need to gain from the community is trust with slow, long-term education. You’ll really get people to listen and reverse the damage that’s been done by the anti-vaccine movement that’s so vocal here.’