By COLlive reporter
Israel’s Ministry of Health published the statistics of vaccination rates in cities throughout the country following an outbreak of measles that has infected frum Jewish children in Brooklyn.
In Jerusalem, 3 percent of children have not been vaccinated for contagious viral diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella. In the mostly frum city of Bnei Brak, the number was only 2 percent, while in Beitar Illit and Kiryat Malachi it was 4 percent.
A relatively high figure was reported from the Chassidic village of Kfar Chabad, where about 6 percent of the children have not been vaccinated.
Our sister Hebrew website COL.org.il reported that the statistic “is particularly worrying when a class of 20 children has an average of 1 child who has not been vaccinated at a time of outbreaks and high rates of infection.”
A city that has a high rate of non-vaccinated children is Tzfas, where the number is 11 percent. This number is despite the ongoing calls by physicians and rabbis to parents to vaccinate their children.
Rabbi Mordechai Bistritzky, Rabbi of the Chabad community in the holy city of Tzfas in Israel, has warned against the epidemic in a public letter this past summer.
“I received a request from the health maintenance organization stating that there is a real phenomenon in which parents do not vaccinate their children,” he wrote. “Recently, dozens of children have contracted measles, a disease that is very contagious and can cause severe complications.
“Therefore, it is incumbent on every parent to ensure that his children are vaccinated and that even those who were raised in homes where they do not believe in vaccinations, cannot endanger other children at school or home.”
“In light of the spread of measles, the children who have not been vaccinated should be vaccinated immediately,” said Dr. Menachem Breyer, deputy director of the medical clinic at Mayanei Hayeshua Hospital.
Doctors and senior executives say, among other things, that not vaccinating children constitutes “serious neglect.”
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