Feb 19, 2015
Rabbis Instruct: Vaccinate the Kids
Illustration photo by Keerati

The Orthodox Union (OU) and Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) strongly called on Jewish parents to vaccinate their children.


Orthodox Jewish parents, like responsible parents across the United States, overwhelmingly vaccinate their children against measles, mumps, rubella, polio and the other childhood diseases for which inoculations are now almost miraculously commonplace.

As in many communities, a small minority of parents chooses not to do so. The ongoing measles outbreak demonstrates how this could bear very serious consequences, not only for their own children but others’ too, especially those medically unable to be vaccinated.

The Orthodox Union (OU) and the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) strongly urge all parents to vaccinate their healthy children on the timetable recommended by their pediatrician.

Parents who choose to not vaccinate often cite a medical study that purported to link autism and the MMR vaccine. The study was discovered to be fraudulent and was withdrawn; its lead author was found to have acted "dishonestly and irresponsibly," and his license to practice medicine in Britain was revoked.

Judaism places the highest value on preserving human life. It is well known that those facing even a potential life or death situation are instructed to set aside the Sabbath and other key tenets of halachic (Jewish law) observance until the emergency has passed.

Prayers for good health and for the complete and perfect healing of the ill are an ages-old aspect of Jewish tradition. But prayers must go hand-in-hand with availing oneself of medical science, including vaccination.

There are halachic obligations to care for one’s own health as well as to take measures to prevent harm and illness to others, and Jewish law defers to the consensus of medical experts in determining and prescribing appropriate medical responses to illness and prevention.

Therefore, the consensus of major poskim (halachic decisors) supports the vaccination of children to protect them from disease, to eradicate illness from the larger community through so-called herd immunity, and thus to protect others who may be vulnerable. The vaccination of children who can medically be vaccinated is absolutely the only responsible course of action.

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Opinions and Comments
I hope
everyone heeds this important message. (Even those who
otherwise go "natural".) Thanks for posting.
(2/19/2015 10:55:00 PM)
So Proud of these Rabbonim
Thank you. Our community doctors have also been pushing parents to have their children vaccinated, Maybe now, more will take responsible action and schedule vaccination appointments ASAP. The schools should also bar healthy un-vaccinated kids to protect our weakest community members who are not medically able to receive the vaccines.
(2/19/2015 10:58:58 PM)
Herd immunity is just as much a myth as evolution
Vaccinations have never been proven to work. When there are outbreaks, vaccinated children are just as likely to get sick as unvaccinated ones. Vaccinations are full of toxins, that many children just can't handle - thus the number of SIDS deaths. In Japan they don't vaccinate until children are at least 3 years old and their SIDS numbers have dramatically dropped.

There is so much big money and thus big politics that it is impossible to find anyone to do a real untainted study on vaccinations. Is the toxicity and side effects worth it? It's quite debatable. The big money is calling for so many vaccinations of infants that it's terrifying, and they pay off the doctors to go along with it, without allowing doctors to ask any questions.

This is not responsible on anyone's part, and parents are strong-armed into accepting this. Big Pharm is protected by the government and legally never has to pay any lawsuits even if they are found negligent. It's disgusting.

"Herd immunity" is a myth, and now halachic authorities are swallowing Big Pharm as well. Oish, we need Moschiach!
(2/19/2015 11:29:15 PM)
to #3
You are entitled to your opinions, but I probably speak for many when I say.....just keep your unvaccinated children away from mine
(2/20/2015 12:08:59 AM)
echo #3
I want to echo what commenter #3 said.
My six kids are TG not vaccinated and are a lot healthier than most other kids. I have kids in their teens and we have never dealt with a single ear infection, no strep throat, or any other illness other than the common cold during the winter.
Keeping the toxins out of your kids bodies (and yours too for that matter!) is much healthier!
In addition, there are definitely rabbonim who advocate not vaccinating and do not vaccinate their kids. I know of two Lubavitcher rabbonim who do not vaccinate, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were more.
(2/20/2015 12:40:54 AM)
to #3
thank you for your informative comment. Now, can you please also discuss how the world is flat.
(2/20/2015 12:42:30 AM)
Concerned Teacher
Thank you for vaccinating your children. Herd immunity protects more than just kids.Vaccinated children are protecting many expectant teachers from bearing children who would be born with serious, permanent defects.
(2/20/2015 1:30:40 AM)
Omg to #3, and #5
Stop trolling. NOT VACCINATING YOUR CHILDREN IS LIFE THREATNING. Not just to them, but to everyone else! If C"V your child has measels, but does't show symptoms, and spreads it to other kids, who get symptoms, etc, guess what? If another child C"V dies because of YOUR decision, you could be looking at life in prison for murder. Don't believe me? Look it up, there was a famous case several years ago about this.
(2/20/2015 1:36:18 AM)
to # 5
Can you post those rabbonims names?
Do they hold that that is our obligation?
Do they stand by their positions?
(2/20/2015 1:39:26 AM)
common sense
#3- how many people do you know chas veshalom struck by polio? Before the vaccine, it was every parents worse nightmare. The bottom line is that vaccines work.
(2/20/2015 1:57:05 AM)
#3 is a dangerous liar
Every single sentence in comment #3 is a lie. It's amazing how one can write a longish comment like that, and not include a single true sentence. But it's not funny, because whoever wrote #3 is endangering innocent lives. Please, keep your mouth shut.

For that matter, I don't believe #5 either. I don't believe that her kids are nearly as healthy as she claims, and what's more the only reason they're all still alive is because so many other people are vaccinated that they haven't been exposed to anything dangerous yet. Before vaccinations it used to be normal for a family to lose a child or two r"l. And rabbonim who advocate not vaccinating are mamash rotzchim.
(2/20/2015 2:05:47 AM)
What are you worried about?
I never understood the parents that vaccinate their kids then worry that they'll get sick from those not vaccinated. Aren't your vaccines making your kids immune? If not, why are you vaccinating?!
I agree with #3. Do your research. Don't just blindly follow the herd. There are so many countries where vaccines are voluntary and even banned and they aren't third world or full of sickness.
(2/20/2015 2:15:02 AM)
To #3
Wow. I had to read your comment 4 times to try and understand your conclusions. I think the best assumption you came up with was some garbage about SIDS. Yah... we dont know anything about SIDS and they definitely arent tied to vaccines. You are entitled to your opinions but my g-d please get your facts straight and do proper research. In Japan they vaccinate babies. Seriously woman/man where do you get your incorrect information from? Stop spewing garbage. Some of your points have validity but your conclusions and assumptions are downright foolish. Untained study? You insult every person in the medical research field - shame on you. Those who dedicate their life saving lives and you accuse them of having bad intentions. Shame on you.
(2/20/2015 2:34:25 AM)
we want namea
Doesn't say which rabbanim. Just ''rabbanim"
(2/20/2015 3:00:55 AM)
To #3 & #5
Have you ever seen a dead or brain damaged UNVACCINATED child who contracted measles? I have. You put YOUR children at risk & also my grandchildren who might be too young or are not medically able to be vaccinated. And by the way, before vaccines came out I caught measles. It was probably the worst illness I ever had - I was so sick. You really want your kids to suffer because you are caught up in YOUR hype - let it happen, no harm, etc etc.

You need to visit hospitals or the morgue.
(2/20/2015 3:01:04 AM)
to #3
Life expectany 100 years ago in the US was less than 50.
70 years ago dying from diseases such as meansles polio mumps were very common. Smallpox has been eradicated from the world. Polio is almost eradicated, except in a small number of countries. But the hope is it can follow the path of smallpox an be a disease we only hear about in the history books.
Your decisions effect not only yourself , but has great ramifications on others.
(2/20/2015 3:34:18 AM)
to #3
It is false to claim most peopple who have caught measles have been vacciniated. Most have not been vaccniated.
Vaccines are 95-98% effective. That means a small percentage of people with the vaccination can develop the disease. But in if a high percentage of people get the disease then a disease has a difficult time spreading and becoming an epidemic.
(2/20/2015 3:36:46 AM)
Kudos to numbers 3 & 5
B"H none of my kids ever had a ear infection, I could count on one band the times ALL my children have gone to the Doctor
(2/20/2015 4:12:03 AM)
Thanx Num 3
were getting worried over here, that there are no more educated and really informed people ...Come on, the lie is now falling big time. # 3 couldnt have beenn better said. youre not alone!
(2/20/2015 4:55:23 AM)
#4 Keep your unvaccinated children away from mine??
Really - why? If your kids are vaccinated and so well immunized, what in the world are you are you worried about?
Please explain.
And to #6 - now can you please give us an informative discussion on the active components in vaccinations as well as the adjuvants, diluents, stabilizers, preservatives, and any other trace components? Please include the immediate and long term risks/effects when injected into tiny babies.
#4 and #6 will so help me make an informed decision regarding the health of my children.....

In any case - in the zchus of Rosh Chodesh ADAR may we all be blessed with the bracha of Ani Hashem Rofecha and the best of health and happiness!
(2/20/2015 5:16:39 AM)
to #3 "Herd" is not "Heard"
A bunch of sheep!
(2/20/2015 6:02:49 AM)
to no. 5
My children are vaccinated, and bh are are very healthy as well.That just proves they have a healthy immune system. All of your conspiracy theories don't negate the fact that your choices are putting others especially the pregnant, elderly, and very young at risk. I agree that unvaccinated children should not be allowed in schools and camps.
(2/20/2015 7:00:26 AM)
to #4
you ask us to keep our unvaccinated kids away from yours.
but why?
what do you hvae to fear?
your kids are vaccinated. they are completely protected.
aren't they?
(2/20/2015 7:14:32 AM)
I am so happy to see endorsement from rabbonim those children who are not vaccinated their parents are selfish liberals who support Obama . I believe schools should not accept them they are a danger to others. Start your own school or home school these children.
(2/20/2015 7:24:41 AM)
Does earth orbit the sun, or does the sun orbit the earth?
(2/20/2015 7:26:11 AM)
Can you not act like the system is flawless! How any pple got the flu vaccine and are now sick w it??? There's absolutely a place for them but I think we need more education and less one sided rehtoric.
(2/20/2015 7:28:59 AM)
Thank you to #3
People who make the informed choice to immunize are doing what they feel or believe is best. This is of course entirely valid.
By the same token those that have taken the time to research extensively and speak to conventional doctors about the true (conceded) concerns regarding vaccinations and have thus chosen not to vaccinate are doing what they feel is best and healthiest for their families.
This too is totally valid.
But when someone begins to degrade or bully we ask - "why?"
Then again, the art of bullying and humiliating have always been ascribed to the ignorant or to those with ulterior motives or dubious interests in mind....
So to #6 - how about the real reason for your senseless mockery?

(2/20/2015 7:34:55 AM)
Flu shot
Got it 5 months ago recommended by my doc b/c I'm 'high risk ' as I have a chronic illness . The very next morning I woke up with a major flare up of my illness and 5 months later still suffering .
(2/20/2015 7:39:46 AM)
u not alone
# 3. U obviously knew what would comr with your comment. You and (and #5) have done the homework and taken responsibility for your children's healthAND safety. Dont let the sleeping sheep make you feel bad or insecure, as you know well your information comes from lots of real and scientific data...eeven though they claim to know the entire truth. You notice their anger and close to zero backing serious and empiric data??. So absurd people and these "rabbis": who are they, what do the know (besides the propaganda you an I are very familiar with). It sounds to me like more money and power kindda move from somewhere " up there". Thanks for sumarizing so well #3.
(2/20/2015 8:23:53 AM)
The info is out there!
#17 check your affirmations. Actual Scientific DATA shows otherwise. Do people not know how to find sources and data on the Internet? !
(2/20/2015 8:31:09 AM)
3 and 5
Your ignorance is astounding. Vaccinations have never been proven to work? Smallpox has been eradicated, why do you think children in the US don't get polio anymore? MMR was on its way out until people like you stopped vaccinating their children and provided a warm welcoming breeding ground for these diseases to return. Also, there have been NO links of SIDS to vaccinating, and ENT problems are completely unrelated as well.

You are putting the lives of infants and immunocompromised individuals at risk.

Whooping cough is not just a bad cough. The "whoop" is your child gasping for breath. Mumps are not just puffy cheeks, it can cause meningitis, deafness and impotence in men. Measles is not just a rash, it can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis and death. These are serious diseases which are easily preventable. Hashem gave us the responsibility and the tools to protect our bodies. Be a responsible parent and protect your children.
(2/20/2015 8:31:18 AM)
This is the reason to keep your children away from mine
The idea that if my kids are vaccinated they are immunized is correct. Yet,it takes time to complete the vaccinating process. You don't get all vaccines right away. So if your kid is sick with chicken pox and mine is already immunized for Rubella but did not get chicken pox immunization yet, you are putting my kid at danger zone. The most vulnerable are newborn babies who did not get any vaccination yet. They could easily be killed from getting exposed to an un vaccinated child.
(2/20/2015 8:33:42 AM)
to 27
Excelent. You took the words out of my mouth. Their anger and agresivness just makes me more curious about the truth behind the vaccine "industry". Follow the money....
(2/20/2015 8:43:09 AM)
To 26
The flu vaccine is completely different. There are different strains of the flu virus. Every year, research is done to determine which strain is likely to be most prevalent in the coming year, so that they can prepare the immunizations.
(2/20/2015 8:43:53 AM)
look for truth....
(2/20/2015 8:56:22 AM)
Number 27
While you intentions are clearly nice and thoughtful you are incorrect. Of course, bullying is not ok, but choosing not to immunize is not "valid."

When choosing not to immunize, you are making a decision about your children, as well as all the kids in your child's class, at the playground, supermarket etc. You are putting all those others in harms way. The only reason your children are protected from these diseases are because of all the individuals who are immunized.
(2/20/2015 9:13:42 AM)
To the anti vaxers
Those people who choose NOT to vaccinate their children are putting a lot of people at risk. For example with this current measles outbreak, The vaccine is not given to children under 1 year. Also, children with compromised immune systems due to a number of reasons can't get vaccinated either. Herd immunity is NOT a myth. Did you ever know anyone who had polio? I did. A girl in my class had it & she died from complications as a young adult. Do you know anyone who had whooping cough? I got it from un-vaccinated children. It's not much fun. No, the vaccines don't last a lifetime but if all the children were immunized, I would not have caught it. A lot of diseases if caught while pregnant will lead to birth defects or the death of the baby. Who would want to chance that? How would you feel if you knew that your failure to immunize your children caused the death or deformity of someone's child? Science has proved that immunizations work. Where's your scientific proof that they cause SIDS or autism? All the research that was published proving they cause autism has been deemed false.
(2/20/2015 9:18:57 AM)
Ignorant Parent
It all about Money getting vaccinate - so many story parents who vaccinated their kids and kids got in to a lot of problem vdal
(2/20/2015 9:26:56 AM)
Every person has a story, it's all anectodal, studies have shown vaccines help stop the spread of dangerous diseases. They are not a 100% guarantee and the. There are those that can't get vaccinated due to illness. Those who choose not to vaccinate are putting the ones who can't be vaccinated at risk.
As a child, I was not vaccinated as not everyone did it then and my parents didn't have Insurance and couldn't afford it. I actually had ear infections many many times as a kid. I ask got mumps, which was very very painful,
A friend of mine does not vaccinate and her kids are always sick. I vaccinate and BH we're almost never by the Dr.
Every person and family is different and getting ear infections, strep and flu does not have anything to do with vaccinations.
Vaccinations are here for our benefit, BH Polio is long gone and outbreaks of measles and mumps, rubella etc are very rare.
(2/20/2015 9:33:41 AM)
To #20 and #23
Read comment #17. No vaccine is 100% effective; a small number - 2 to 5 percent - of children (or adults) who were vaccinated can still get a particular disease. So yes, parent #4 is one hundred percent correct: if you choose not to vaccinate, you are not only putting your own child in danger, you may be endangering the children of other parents who were responsible and got their children vaccinated.

While you're at it, see if you can answer #10's point. What do you think got rid of polio, if not vaccinations?
(2/20/2015 9:38:40 AM)
To all the smart people
asking why I care if your unvaccinated kids come close to mine.

That is because my kid is recovering from leukemia and can't get his shots.

You don't want to vax your kids? That's your dumb choice I hope your kids don't have to suffer for. But for G-D's sake keep tham away from my kid...
(2/20/2015 9:57:08 AM)
Question: How comes so little had been researched about Autism and its causes in so many years? Are there any Autism researchers that are given some weight in the medical community?
(2/20/2015 10:15:20 AM)
Like Hashem?
Everyone's failing to mention his name. While you all fess over what's right and wrong, you're totally forgetting that there's a god who has a plan for everyone. If he wants your child to get measles, he will get measles. On another note, a lot my friends and their siblings have gotten vaccines and their family is full of health issues. My family's doctor, yes I repeat- DOCTOR- recommended my mother didnt give us vaccines because nothing good would come out of putting harsh drugs in a tiny little body. Instead of trying to find an alternative to everything, why not just let your child get sick so he could build up his immune system and then you won't have to worry about anything. I am a healthy grown woman without having any vaccines.
(2/20/2015 10:31:33 AM)
I agree with #3 and 5 opinions...
Wow....such attack on our fellow yids.... #24, just in case you're from another planet.....When are in America where people have rights! Just like I can't force you to drink water, we don't shun kids from gaining an education because of lack of vaccine(s)...In this country, "we the people have power over local government".... Good Shabbos and Chodesh Tov!!!
(2/20/2015 10:41:53 AM)
some can't get it
Some people should not get MMR vaccine or should wait.
•Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of MMR vaccine, should not get the vaccine. Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies.• Anyone who had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of MMR or MMRV vaccine should not get another dose.• Some people who are sick at the time the shot is scheduled may be advised to wait until they recover before getting MMR vaccine.•Pregnant women should not get MMR vaccine. Pregnant women who need the vaccine should wait until after giving birth. Women should avoid getting pregnant for 4 weeks after vaccination with MMR vaccine.•Tell your doctor if the person getting the vaccine: ◦ Has HIV/AIDS, or another disease that affects the immune system◦ Is being treated with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroid◦ Has any kind of cancer◦ Is being treated for cancer with radiation or drugs◦ Has ever had a low platelet count (a blood disorder)◦Has gotten another vaccine within the past 4 weeks◦Has recently had a transfusion or received other
blood productsAny of these might be a reason to not get the vaccine, or delay vaccination until later.

(2/20/2015 11:00:12 AM)
#3 #5 are nuts - go to a kids hospital
Besides for polio and measles and other horrible diseases that have been eradicated, why not go to a hospital and go to the RSV ward. There is a shot to prevent it, but the vial costs over $2000, so only high risk kids get it. Be thankful that vaccines work, and work well. #5 Your logic is wacked, I have kids too, some get ear infections others don't, each kid is unique and B"H you have healthy ones, but please get your facts checked.

You sound like the people who go to the doctor because their dog bit them and they are not immunized but the dog is up to date on its shots.
(2/20/2015 11:15:36 AM)
to all the nay sayers
To everyone saying "if you kids are vaccinated, then why should it matter if my kids aren't..." use your brain here. your 3 year old isn't vaccinated against measles, and my 6 month old isn't old enough to get the vaccine yet. Even though I vaccinate my children, there's still an issue there. Why risk the lives of infants and immunocompromised?
(2/20/2015 11:33:51 AM)
Nothing to do with lubavitch
The rebbes guidance was always ask a rofeh yedid. Not ask local orthodox rabbi.
(2/20/2015 11:45:16 AM)
to #27
This isn't about feeling or believing;it's about knowing and being informed by real science.Isn't there a certain amount of yeshus here? I know better and how,because I went on the internet. Did you know that anyone can claim anything they want on the internet? The fact that Big Pharma is a buisness is good because competition is good ie who can find the cure first. Competition leads to better,safer products. As for bullying,those who don't agree with you are ignorant ...? Hmm.
(2/20/2015 12:22:45 PM)
to #31
Gut gezokt!!!
(2/20/2015 12:43:01 PM)
to all...
Doesn't seem like like there is any conclusive evidence either way besides that both sides have risk and reward .
I do believe there is a big farm influence. But im not sure how Obama came into it:) I personally think "natural" is the way to go but you guys make a scary argument.
Moshe Y Friedman
(2/20/2015 12:56:45 PM)
Mother of 8 UNvacinated healthy kids
From all of My kids I never had any of them sick with strept, ear infection and any other sickness you need to go to doctors. The only times I had to go to doctors was for broken bones and stitches. My kids are strong, healthy, vibrant, energetic and robust children. Some are married with kids and have healthy UNvacinated kids.
(2/20/2015 1:05:22 PM)
Vaccine debate vocabulary:
Educated myself: I am so much smarter than you. If you want to be as smart as me you need to agree with me. I spent hundreds of hours on the couch reading Google (and none doing homework, interacting with proffessionals, in the lab, etc)
Sheeple: the "yukle" club. If you want to be a "macher" you need to agree with me.
Toxins: any word not in the purple cookbook, also mercury in tuna- probably passed on in mothers milk, paint on the playground, all in tiny amounts.
Let's see the debate without those words...
(2/20/2015 1:23:23 PM)
When making schuddum you need to ask this question. Let's keep our kids isolated.
(2/20/2015 3:24:52 PM)
Healthy children
I b"h have seven healthy who all received their vaccinations on schedule. I follow doctors orders and feel they know more them I who never went to medical school. My children have also never had ear infections or strep. What's the connection between vaccination and ear infection any way? I feel those who don't vaccinate are selfish. They think that if everyone else does then I don't have to because the disease is not around.They are not thinking about the elderly, the newborns and those with compromised immune systems. And yes there are always those cases where one has been vaccinated and is still not immune. Please be responsible and use the means that we have to keep healthy. Moshiach should come speedily so that these diseases are eradicated and there should be no need for preventive measures!
(2/20/2015 4:54:59 PM)
I'm old enough to remember polio
It was horrible. Kids would just disappear from school and never come back. Only one girl in my class who got it survived, but she lost the use of one arm, it was kind of withered and just hung at her side. When the polio vaccine came out every single mother lined up with her children to get it.
(2/20/2015 5:24:53 PM)
Diet coke
I drank a diet coke then I got into a car accident. So I am warning you all do not drink diet coke as it causes car accidents.
Btw, I agree that vaccines cause illness too.
(2/20/2015 7:01:44 PM)
The rebbe was clearly pro-vaccine
Look it up people, the rebbe clearly felt that you should trust physicians and that vaccines were good. In addition to the rebbes advice, halacha clearly states that one should vaccinate. Therefore, those of you who do not vaccinate, stop calling yourselves lubavitchers.
(2/20/2015 7:06:55 PM)
The ignorance of people
Do you ignorant morons know what a vaccine is? It's a small, non-active dose of the disease itself. It has nothing to do with Autism, or any other B.S.
Get your kids vaccinated. Otherwise pay the price.
(2/20/2015 10:00:03 PM)
Challange to anti-vacs people

To all those who are against vaccination: Why is it that there no cases of polio in the US since 1979? and in the decades prior to that it was very common? Thanks to vaccines the US has been polio free since 1979.

So answer this: what caused polio to to be eradicated in the US if not the vaccine?
Same question for smallpox.
(2/21/2015 5:42:56 AM)
The most important shidduch question
Like #54 said. You must ask this when making a Shidduch.
This was & is a non negotiable question for my kids shidduchim.
No vax? Nothing to talk about!
(2/21/2015 9:16:47 AM)
Take down this article, seriously!
With all due respect to Rabbis, I think this call is misleading and uninformed, sorry!
(2/21/2015 4:32:23 PM)
Just listen to the professionals, listen to the doctors who really truly care!
Doctor Suzanne Humphries MD
(2/21/2015 4:57:33 PM)
To #58
You are right that there are numerous letters to individuals regarding vaccination, in which the rebbe supported vaccinating. But those were all PERSONAL letters. Does anyone remember the Rebbe going out with Mivtza Chisunim! Vaccination campaign!? Oh, is this the new guideline for being called a Lubavitcher? Watch the way you speak please.
(2/21/2015 6:51:08 PM)
How about
We all wear crutches because it is so slippery and icy in the streets, you may fall!
(2/21/2015 7:25:58 PM)
#63: 4 in 10,000 chance of severe side effects
Vaccines have saved millions of lives. However there is a tiny percentage who severe reaction such as anaphylaxis from some form of food allergy.
In every sphere in life we must make a risk/benefit analysis. Every time you get in your car you take a risk.
The risk/benefit analysis for vaccines indicates that the amount of lives saved by the vaccines immeasurably out-ways the amount of children with sever allergic reactions.
Those children who have a high risk (per medical opinion) are justified in not taking the vaccine. However should there be an outbreak of the disease and your child is in the same room as infected person the chance of your child catching measles for eg is about 90%, as measles is extremely contagious.
To all those who have unvaccinated healthy kids: your kids are safe so long as the disease is rare as a result of of heard immunity. However if enough people stop taking vaccines (because of false information) the chance of outbreaks goes up substantially, putting the entire community at greater risk.
Your decision does not affect just family. It has ramifications on everyone else in the community, especially the young, old and immunocompromised.
(2/21/2015 7:31:27 PM)
"my kids are healthy an not vaccinated"
To all that say: my kids have not had the vaccine and are healthy, they don’t have ear infections or Strep”
First: my kids are vaccinated and never had ear infections or Strep. But what is the connection between ear infections and Strep to measles mumps and rubella? None.
You kids are safe because these diseases have become extremely rare in this country as a result of the high percentage of vaccinated people: the disease does not have a chance to spread – its called heard immunity.
But should the percentage of people vaccinated drop to below 80%, the effect of heard immunity drops significantly and one case of measles brought in from abroad can devastate an entire community.
You anecdote of “my kids are healthy” is only true because you are protected by heard immunity. You are protected because most other people in the country do have the vaccine. But as the percentage of people vaccinated diminish (because of the spread of misinformation) we will see an increase to the amount of outbreaks - as is happening now in some states in the country.
(2/21/2015 8:00:20 PM)
To all those who put down Anti Vaxers:
You are just shooting yourself in the head, and love banging your head in the wall.
Be OPENMINDED and look up the facts in the books, that'll do you all a great deal of good.
To the young generation, 20 and 30 yr olds - YOU are our future! - Please research and do a whole lot of homework before injecting your newborns!!!!
(2/21/2015 8:03:53 PM)
To all uneducated Parents Out There!!!
Strep, Ear Infections and the common cold have nothing to do with whether a child is vaccinated or not! Those parents who do not vaccinate are simply ignorant, uneducated people. It is truly selfish and stupid to not protect your children. Granted there are children who have seriuos health issues who cannot receive vaccines, but the majority of healthy children should get vaccinated on a timely schedule. Please do your research and learn about both sides of the coin. You can't call the world's majority stupid because they are disease free. Do you want to be the guilty one for hurting a vulnerable person (baby, pregnant woman, elderly person, cancer patient, etc) by exposing your sick child to them? take heed, and may Hashem protect you and yours!
(2/21/2015 9:03:37 PM)
1. I wonder if a parent would change their tune if Gd forbid their child was damaged from a vaccine.
2. Why have the courts paid out billions in damages?
And why have the vaccine manufacturers protected themselves from law suits?
3. Why is Gardisil still used for young girls? The inventer of the vaccine herself is not behind it after seeing girls damaged from it. It's horrifying and still used. Why??
4. Not sure, but according to rabbi schuchats article (last year?) if I remember, the Rebbe's view was "if it's efficacy has been proven." I know to many it's seems obvious that it has been proven, however the stats prove otherwise. (I will leave polio out as Im not up on that one.).
The autism issue is real. I understand that you'll say it can't be proven, however autism unfort is big business these days - the numbers are scary. To hear a dr say it was the vaccine hits home a little deeper.
Sad that most don't see ... :(
(2/21/2015 9:42:42 PM)
to #43, and all the non-vaccinators....
My baby cousin died from chickenpox! He was too young for the vaccine.
Yes, HaShem decides who lives and dies. But if you decide to cross Eastern Parkway in front of a speeding truck, don't blame the Malach Hamoves! He doesn't show up for suicides!
My sister died in a car accident. We didn't have seat belts in those days, and she flew out of the car on impact. Most people didn't die in car accidents, but when there is a danger, you take precautions. A seat belt would have saved her life. But we didn't have them (except for the front seat in those days).
I guess you are one of the drivers who screams unfair when ticketed for talking on the phone while not using your seatbelt, because G-d didn't CV"S strike you, so the cop should have left you alone too?
If G-d gave you children, take care of them.
Otherwise keep your kids away from our children who are too young or too sick to be vaccinated.
(2/21/2015 9:44:27 PM)
Have actually spoken with experts on both sides
The Rebbe was respectful in letters to both sides of the issue and said that lpoel one should follow the majority of the parents of the class, but would be shocked at the war against anyone who disagrees.

There have been actual parents with actual kids who've attested to actual problems.

Then there are kids who were not vaccinated and had problems.

It's not simple or an easy call as some want to make it out to be.

But two things are clear:

a) No one should make important health decisions based on screaming posters on the internet - ever.

b) COL should not be posting the dictates of two Modern Orthodox organizations who've shown much more concern for being outspoken about every modern fad and have shown precious little regard for halachic responsa.
(2/21/2015 10:48:35 PM)
Myth: vaccinated people are equally susceptible to disease
Over the past few decades, especially with the emergence of anti-vaccination groups, there have been large groups of people who refuse to receive immunization. This unfortunate reality gives us the opportunity to address such a claim directly. In every case, immunized populations do, in fact, have lower incidence rates than non-immunized populations. One of the best examples I can think of is that of polio. Polio is close to eradication, but some countries still report relatively high incidence rates. These include countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Radical groups have claimed that polio vaccines are a conspiracy to infect Africans with HIV and this has caused many to forego vaccination. These theories have no basis and every batch of polio vaccine is tested for contamination. As a result, polio has spread among non-vaccinated populations.
(2/21/2015 10:48:44 PM)
The rebbe's own words
By the Grace of G‑d
15th of Tammuz, 5746
[July 22, 1986]
Brooklyn, N. Y.

Greeting and Blessing:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter and kind contribution for Tzedoko, for which receipt is enclosed.

You surely know the saying of our Sages in the Mishna that “The reward of a Mitzvo is the Mitzvo itself.” Hence, what can a “thank you” from a human being add to the Divine reward in which everything is already included?

But it is certainly in order to express my inner pleasure at seeing another well known saying of our Sages so eloquently confirmed in concrete action, namely the saying that “A Jewish heart is always awake”—awake and responsive to HaShem’s Mitzvoth, especially as in your case, responsive to the need to spread Torah and Mitzvoth for the benefit of the many.

This would be highly gratifying at any time, but even more so at a time when it meets an urgent need that has been waiting for someone to come forward and provide the financial resources necessary to meet it.

This brings me to the question of how best to use your kind contribution in accordance with your intention. My answer has already been briefly conveyed to you over the telephone, and I wish now to outline it also in writing.

The connection between medical science and Halacha is already inherent in the Torah itself, as our Sages declare, “The Torah brings øôåàä to the world.” The meaning of it is not that the Torah negates medical science in any way. On the contrary, the Torah declares that in matters of health, it is necessary to consult a physician and follow his instructions—at the same time not forgetting, of course, that the True Healer is HaShem, and the physician is no more than the agent of “The Healer of all flesh Who works wondrously.”

In medical science there are two basic areas of approach: (a) therapeutic medicine and (b) preventive medicine. The first deals with medical disorders brought to the physician’s attention for actual treatment. The second, which has been gaining an increasingly greater role in modern times, is to attain the highest possible level of public health through the prevention of sickness by such methods as vaccination, public and personal hygiene, wholesome diets, and by various other ways and means.

Needless to say, while there is no getting away now from the need of therapeutic medicine, preventive medicine is, ideally, the more desirable method. In the long term, it is surely also more desirable from every point of view, including cost, etc., not to mention the prevention of pain and suffering, G‑d forbid. Also, in preventive medicine there is no need for recourse to radical means, such as surgery and the like, which, unfortunately, is part of curative medicine.

For preventive medicine to be most successful and effective, it is necessary to start it from earliest childhood—beginning with vaccination, brushing one’s teeth to prevent cavities, a balanced diet, and so forth. In regard to Jewish children, it calls for strict observance of the laws of Kashrus of foods and beverages, and it is well known how it affects mental and physical development.
(2/21/2015 11:45:24 PM)
If you Choose Not to Vaccinate, Fine...
But please homeschool your children.
Otherwise, it is not your decision to make.
It affects us all
(2/21/2015 11:53:29 PM)
To vaccinate!
I feel vaccinating children is definitely important. However, in my day (I'm B"H a bubby now) the kids got their shots once a month and not three or four together. I understand that insurance doesn't cover for so many visits so many vaccines are given at the same time which might be a bit overloading. But to eliminate altogether, ask polio victims who did survive and are handicapped for the rest of their lives. Let Moshiach please hurry up.
(2/22/2015 12:31:15 AM)
Thanx for sharing the Rebbe ZYA"s take on preventive
medicine, vaccinations, etc.
(2/22/2015 12:44:58 AM)
Medicine yes, dogma no
There's another letter from the Rebbe on "zerikos" - vaccines, in which the Rebbe says to go according to the "roiv" (majority) of the kita (meaning the parents of the class).

Of course we should follow non-biased experts. However, I've met a parent whose kid was affected by vaccines (not spacing the vaccines), any doctor who speaks out against vaccines can lose his or her license (and I'm sure some brilliant posters will yell "good" to that - shows how much they care for getting to the truth on an important issue) and as one poster pointed out above, even spacing it out gets opposition from insurance, for reasons that have nothing to do with health.

So again, there are two sides and internet hype is uncalled for.

Btw there are fully licensed doctors who rail against not spacing out vaccinations.
(2/22/2015 1:26:21 AM)
You guys see that the Rebbe said to vaccinate. Any arguments now?
(2/22/2015 7:32:16 AM)
Yes, plenty to say.

The Rebbe said to listen to medical experts. Contrary what some would say, many are divided as you can see from the personal experiences of the posts.

The Rebbe writes in another letter to go after the majority. He didn't say "to vaccinate."

That was when vaccines were a few. Many doctors are against the (insurance caused) norms of injecting a kid with 3-9 vaccines at a time, each one a separate jolt to the brain (stimuli).

The metzius that doctors would lose licenses if they spoke against vaccination was not around then.

One thing for sure, the Rebbe would be against the attacks on parents, telling parents to homeschool (advocating to throw kids out of frum moisdois). - That is nothing short of shameful.
(2/22/2015 9:40:48 AM)
if there were a cancer vaccine would you get it?
I think people don't realize how bad polio, measles etc.. were.
People used to die or be crippled by these diseases all of the time from them and I'm sure would have done anything to have a shot to make their illness disappear.
If someone invented a cancer vaccine wouldn't that be a miracle? Why would anyone not get it?
(2/22/2015 10:24:37 AM)
exactly right #80
I know a family who had to move to a different city because the school their kids were in changed their vaccine policy and told them their kids can't go back there because they weren't vaccinated.
(2/22/2015 11:08:22 AM)
Emunas Chachamim.
What happened to emunas chachamim? If the rabbanim say, "Vaccinate," then we vaccinate. We are supposed to listen to them down to "go right, go left."
All those who are trying to twist the Rebbe's words: rov of the world understands that vaccinations prevent illness. So we are all mechuyav to do so.
Vaccines have been around for hundreds of years, and have been shown to be safer than not vaccinating.
Case closed.
(2/22/2015 1:17:01 PM)
To #82, and those who agree with you
Why should a school allow the lives of those children who cannot vaccinate to be endangered, or the unborn babies of those who teach in their schools? If you choose not to vaccinate, it comes with a cost, like everything in life. Your choice shouldn't come at the expense of someone else's life. This is a simple concept in mentchlichkeit, and not a lofty far-fetched idea.
(2/22/2015 1:19:41 PM)
To the anti-vax crowd
1.Over whelming scientific evidence
3.Common sense
4.The rebbes own words
5.The OU and RCA
And you still don't believe you should vaccinate? Not sure what else you need, maybe you need to see children suffer because of your stupidity. Maybe then you will will believe.
(2/22/2015 2:27:43 PM)
To 84 (and somewhat 83)
To use the Rebbe's words, which are not speaking about more recent vaccine practices that many, many doctors oppose (or the licensing factor for those who don't march in lockstep), to try to throw frum kids out of schools, is outrageous and an affront to everything that the Rebbe stands for.

There were parents then who wouldn't take minimal vaccines. The Rebbe tended to be pro this and pro some vaccination (the insane schedule and 9 at a time didn't exist and those trying to draw parallels are writing things that were not said and are not so), but would have fought tooth and nail against a hava amina of throwing frum kids out of schools over the issue - and many kids did not receive vaccinations then.

We are all dependant on Hashem and on birkas Tzaddik Yesod Olom for our children's health and there are many factors in this aside from vaccines. The first thing, what the Rebbe fought tooth and nail for, was for strong koshereh chinuch, al taharas haKodesh, first and foremost. This is also the basis of a lot of Purim maamorim, especially the first mugehdiker one (Purim 5738; in Melukat Aleph).

What the Rebbe would say about the current large vaccine schedule is a discussion and not at all clear to me. What the Rebbe would say about threatening Chinuch and whether that brings down brochos is very, very clear, Hashem HaTov Yishmor.

Also, this is simple but gets lost in the hype, if your kids are vaccinated and there are kids who are not in the class, your kids are generally protected. The "herd" argument against it is weak and kids in the same city or state would have the same (minimal possible increased) risk affect. So there's no benefit to G-d forbid throwing kids out of schools and neither is that something that would add Hashems brochos, to put it mildly. VaHashem HaTov Yechaper Baad Aniyei HaTzoin.
(2/22/2015 3:47:13 PM)
Finally some words of wisdom with all the ignorance on this forum!
100% RIGHT that the Rebbe would have a different stance regarding vaccinations today.
(2/22/2015 7:59:00 PM)
concerned parent
It's well known that there have been zero child deaths from measles in recent years but over 100 from the mmr vaccine - parents done follow the doctors (paid off/trained by drug companies making billions on these vaccines) blindly... at the least spread them out and only do the major ones and only do after age 2
(2/22/2015 8:24:31 PM)
Some kids are unable to get a vaccine, eg if recovering from pneumonia etc. vaccines are 98% effective. there is still a small chance of catching the disease even when vaccinated.
Another eg: parents pick up their children and bring an infant who is too young to get vaccinated....
(2/22/2015 9:21:18 PM)
To the anti vax people:
1.Over whelming scientific evidence
2.History - Polio, Smallpox
3.Your actions affect other VULNERABLE people should there be an outbreak
4. Your actions increase the risk of an outbreak - by lowering the percentage of people vaccinated.
5.The Rebbes own words

Why do you think you have the right to put at risk other peoples lives without a medical certificate from a qualified doctor that your child has an elevated risk to the vaccine?
(2/22/2015 9:42:47 PM)
Ask your doctor by your child's next shot!
Ask exactly what are the ingredients, the short term and long term effect.
Oh and btw it's clearly states on the MMR insert that this vaccine can cause diabetes!
When your doctor tells you it's normal to have symptoms from the vaccine - it's REAL! BRAIN DAMAGE!
(2/22/2015 10:09:56 PM)
My personal health has become
the business of institutional leaders!

Ye vaccine no vaccine, for it or against it - what business does the rabbonim of Boro Park/Any Park have with my personal health??????

Now the OU??? have kashrus symbols amassed so much power over it's consumers that they control our private medical decisions??? This is insane.

You want to give a "hechsher" on a medical procedure - that's one thing; but to force your hechsher's standards onto peoples private lives - that's way out of line.
(2/22/2015 10:34:32 PM)
That's because your choice puts VULNERABLE people at risk and increases the chance of an outbreak!
Stop saying this is a personal choice. It affects OTHER VULNERABLE PEOPLE!
(2/23/2015 12:53:00 AM)
so what about all the other personal choices we all make, that affect all of the rest of us b'ruchnius??? u not putting on t'filin or not bentching affects alllll the rest of klal yisroel, all the neshomos
(2/23/2015 12:50:52 PM)
New Statistical Study!
Researched study of population finds that amongst those that immunize their children, most are sadly uninformed and very few take the time to peruse or to analyze documented information and facts.
On the other hand amongst those that decide not to vaccinate their children, almost all are very conscientious about obtaining true well proven data and reports and are intelligently well informed.
What does that tell us?
(2/23/2015 6:25:50 PM)
to #95
what does that tell us? That ther are those who will believe something because it's on the internet and that conspiracy theories and anti- establishmentism have a strong pull on many.
(2/23/2015 9:05:02 PM)
To #96 What you told us about yourself...
Firstly - I do not know how you operate and with whom you associate but what "theories" are you talking about?
Did you perhaps find that on the internet?
Pray tell - how did the genuine legitimate health concerns for our children become of all things - a "conspiracy theory"?
On that note - if serious abuse/exploitation was found in any establishment whatsoever, and attempts were made to address this - as difficult and painful for the victim and family as it was, do you dare to respond by so carelessly labeling that as "anti-establishment"?
Is that why the severe and tragic misconduct was allowed to continue in so many cases and establishments?
Secondly - you must speak to someone to advise you how to use the internet.
If a discourse by the Lubavitcher Rebbe is on the internet do you dare mock it?
If I download and study a 12th century commentary on the internet will you ridicule that?
If a well researched encyclopedic article by Adin Steinzaltz is on the internet do you scorn and reject it bec. of your blissful but unfortunate ignorance?
Thirdly - from the looks of it you obviously have never consulted authoritative conventional medical opinion regarding the true concerns and dangerous risks of vaccinations nor have you ever bothered to ask about the authenticated proven research done in the field.
Sorry - but you may have to go through pages and pages of scholarly fine print and do some heavy reading for that. Although tedious and laborious, particularly if you are lazy, you can still "indulge" and do quite a bit of this on the internet.

T. Hecht Israel
(2/24/2015 6:31:11 AM)
Believe "something" bec. it's on the internet?
Are you serious?
Did you actually read comment 95 or for that matter any other discerning educated comments?
Or did you run off to surf the internet yet again?
(2/24/2015 10:21:57 AM)
Show how much intellectual interity you do NOT have by arguing against THIS:
There are several letters from the Rebbe mentioning vaccines.
A few from 1957, and one from 1986.

The letters from The Rebbe from 1957 address ONLY the polio vaccine newly released in 1955 during a polio epidemic that was paralyzing and/or killing half a million people per year (at a time when the government was refusing to acknowledge the 1948-49 discovery of a successful harmless treatment {CURE} for polio that was disclosed to the American Medical Association [so successful that it reversed paralysis and cured hundreds it was tested on].

Note: Had the polio cure been widely publicized and implemented by Doctors, The Rebbe would -arguably- never have promoted the vaccines in these letters, for there would have been no need to vaccinate [and thereby subject to unnecessary risk an entire population] for something that could have be completely and harmlessly cured in a short time.

The next letter, from 1986, mentions the practice of vaccination (which The Rebbe demonstrated in the 1950's there was a time for, though avoidable even then) which related to the existence of prevention in medicine in general, to make a point about Torah Chinuch and how to apply someone's contribution. It was not a validation of the safety or reliability of the vaccines in use at the time, or the administration schedule whatsoever.

The Rebbe did write, back in 1957, that vaccines should only be used: "once [a vaccine's] RELIABILITY is FIRMLY ESTABLISHED" AND "SAFETY is TRIED AND PROVEN" (notice the DOUBLE language in BOTH references) [See Health in Mind Body and Spirit - Volume 2 Chapter 11] ...indicating that there generally are issues which call vaccines into question.

The Rebbe also writes in another letter [found there] that drug companies are primarily interested in profits which influences their "research", and that Doctors are busy mostly with treatment and not research [and note: the source of the majority of the information they see on vaccines comes from the 'profiteering' drug companies].

So given that the majority of information calling the safety and reliability of today's vaccines into question became available after 1992 [in the 'internet age'], the necessity to revisit the issue for purposes of verifying safety and efficacy (in-line with The Rebbe's conditions), is obvious.

Those who promote vaccination without scouring the scientific data on both sides, and berate those who who conclude differently than them, do so out of weakness since they are unable to take a stand in their own right for the good of people, and instead seek comfort in *blindly* following a herd, without concern for what The Rebbe actually specified.
(2/25/2015 5:55:20 AM)
Thank you to #99
Reminds me of an early letter (might be1950's) I had once seen that was sent to the Rebbe by parents of Kfar Chabad asking if to vaccinate their children with the newly introduced polio vaccine.
If I recall correctly the Rebbe said to investigate carefully from where the vaccine originated.
In the 1960's both the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines (manufactured in monkey testicular cultures and monkey kidney cells) were found to be contaminated by the cancer causing African Green Monkey virus (SV40) which continued to be used and administered to millions of children around the world.
In America alone (by 1960) 98 million children and adults were vaccinated! and pediatric cancers were steadily increasing throughout the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. When tested, it was only the monkey virus that was detected in these human cancers, brain tumors, bone cancers, leukemia etc.
In fact SV40 was over the years regularly used in labs to create human cancers for the purpose of testing cancer therapies and is actually classed as a human carcinogen.
40 years later scientists were asking if the simian virus - SV40 was the direct cause of human cancers R"L!

May Hashem the Rofeh Neeman - Rofeh Kol Basar heal and protect us all and in the merit of the coming Purim - we should all be blessed with ultimate V'Nahafochu and give us the total Refuah of the Geulah HoAmitis V'HaShleima with Moshiach NOW!

T.Hecht Israel
(2/25/2015 8:55:26 AM)
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