MAILBAG: Will Summer Camps Ban Anti-Vaxxer Children?


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Dear YWN,

I like many of your readership have been following the stories of the Measles outbreak in FRum communities around the world.

It is truly amazing how a small group of uneducated people can go ahead and literally endanger the lives of thousands.

Our Yeshivas and most Rabbonim are following the direction of the health departments, and doing their very best to try to protect our children by taking a strong stance and not allowing unvaccinated children attend our mosdos. There are a few anti-vaxxers that are loud and forceful of their views and took the legal routes to force the Yeshivas to take them in against the wishes of the school.

Although we are dealing with snow in the forecast, we are just a few months away from Summer and Camp Registration is in full swing. Suddenly, it hit me like a lightning bolt as my husband and I are literally completing the application. Am I putting the life of my child in danger by sending them to a sleepaway camp where perhaps there maybe a child who may be carrying the measles around?

Unlike in school, my child won’t be sitting next to someone with a paper and pen. But he/she will be sharing the same pool, the same sleeping quarters, the same showers, the same eating tables and the list goes on and on!

The application now sits on my desk as my wife and I decide what to do.

Meanwhile, we put in a call to the camp to see what their policy is and how it will be enforced. Until we hear back from them this registration packet is staying on my desk for I will not put my life’s kid in danger this summer.

What are you planning on doing to protect your children this summer?

Sara K – Flatbush

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


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  1. If your child is immunized why are you fearful about his/her life? This hysteria is only causing machlokes & onoas devarim. Why don’t you call the camp & ask them their policy regarding immunizations.
    Let’s immunize ourselves from this fear mongering with bitachon & doing our hishtadlus.

  2. As I understand, immunization is not perfect, it’s something like 97% effective. While the possibility may be remote, someone who is not immunized is far more likely to bring disease with them to camp.

    Additionally, there are kids in camp who could not get immunized for real health concerns. For example, kids that are somewhat imuno-compromised and could not be vaccinated. The presence of other unvaccinated children raises the risk profile of the camp overall, making camp a far less viable option for this portion of the population.

    And yes, it is otherwise fairly safe to send these kids to camp. I remember a kid in bunk who had to go to the nurse every day. I don’t know what he had, but he wasn’t well. It is very possible that in today’s environment, his doctors would not allow him to go to camp.

  3. Yes, you should definitely be worried and keep all of your children home next summer. It’s the same thing with day camp. Sara, how can you possibly be so irresponsible and even think of sending your children to camp?! I’m surprised at you. You better stock up on board games. Now with black friday coming up, it’s a perfect time to buy.

  4. If they house staff family with pregnant women (all do BH ) they should, Parents and teachers should demand.
    Many pregnant women find out in middle of pregnancy that the immunity wore off – it could have been tested by a simple blood test before pregnancy, it’s called titers, and they could have given a booster. But being stuck in middle of pregnancy with a bad titer means that some boosters may be given during pregnancy and some not. Its a risk of SEVER BIRTH DEFECTS or miscarriage or stillbirth Lo Aleinu. Please be aware of this . Please have all chasanim and kahlas do this simple blood test called titers. Saves a lot of headaches VEDAL

  5. Haimy: would anyone lo aleinu chas vesholom want to try to raise a child with sever birth defects? its not about machlokes and onaas dvarim , see my coment above too

  6. That’s not what the letter writer wrote. She wrote ” Until we hear back from them this registration packet is staying on my desk for I will not put my life’s kid in danger this summer.”
    She did not mention that her child is immune deficient.
    She is needlessly panicking about her healthy child dying.
    I agree that camps need to take this seriously & very possibly restrict non vaccinated children from attending. It’s the hysterical tone & the demonizing of anti vaxxers that I disagree with.

  7. Haimy: would anyone lo aleinu chas vesholom want to try to raise a child with sever birth defects?

    I would LOVE to hear how getting an immunization after birth causes birth defects.

    The Wolf