Chareidim Refuse Measles Vaccinations And Infection Rate Grows


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vaac 2.jpgYeshivaworld has previously reported (HERE) about a measles outbreak in Yerushalayim & in the Frum communities in London.

Today, Arutz 7 ran a story which quoted Israel’s Health Minister Ya’akov Ben-Yizri; who said that 286 of 295 cases of measles in the Yerushalayim region were members of the Chareidi communities. The reported cases include patients living in Beit Shemesh and Beitar Illit – also Chareidim.

According to the Health Minister, the reason for the high outbreaks are due to the fact that there is a large percentage of the Chareidi community which adamantly refuses to get immunizations against dangerous diseases.

Their reasoning for refusing the vaccinations is due to “Frumkeit” (religious reasons), and due to a concern that Israel uses mercury-containing preservatives in the vaccines.

It is interesting to note, that Yeshivaworld has been informed that this problem is spreading throughout Frum communities worldwide – including Lakewood, Monsey, Kiryas Yoel, Brooklyn, Cederhurst etc.

It might be a good idea to remind the people refusing the vaccines, of the tens of thousands of people who would R”L die from outbreaks – which is all Boruch Hashem prevented today – thanks to vaccines.


  1. frumkeit ?
    to not get a vaccine due to fumkeot ?
    i dont get it ?
    can someone please explain this revelation to me ?

    perhaps frum women should stop having babies because of tzniuut issues in the delivery room.

  2. Frumkeit??? Is endangering the lives of your children frumkeit? Is endangering the lives of thousands of other people frumkeit? Is being oiver a lav d’oirayso of venishmartem me’od lenafshoiseichem frumkeit? Don’t be a roidef and get your children immunized.




  4. Deepthinker, you are spreading very false information where people’s health is concerned!!!!

    Two major studies on autism and thimerosal-containing vaccines (TMV’s)were unable to establish any link between the two. Your claim about TMV’s causing autism have no scientific basis … despite people looking for that basis.

    According to information on the internet fever the side affect of the measles vaccine are similar to a very mild case of measles. The most common is fever and occurs in 5%-15% of vaccine recipients. About 5% of persons develop a mild rash. When they occur, fever and rash appear 7-10 days after vaccination. About 25% of adult women receiving MMR vaccine develop temporary joint pain, although this symptom is related to the rubella component of the combined vaccine. Joint pain only occurs in women who are not immune to rubella at the time of vaccination. MMR vaccine may cause thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) at the rate of about 1 case per 30,000-40,000 vaccinated people. Cases are almost always temporary and benign.

    In short, which is worse … very mild measles-like symptoms or full-blown measles (which would probably require hospitalization and carries a small chance of death).

  5. The umos haolam have accused us of many things. Stupidity is not one of them. I guess things change cos this is stupidity of the highest degree. As such, it seems to be a great chillul Hashem as well. After all, even the umos haolam never accused of this yet we seem to be growing in this inyan. Nebach on children in such homes. We were granted the ability to eradicate disease and we should use it.

  6. This is false.

    1. Charedim vaccinate at the same rate as secular Israelis

    2. For the extremely small minority who don’t – both secular and charedi- the health ministry has no idea what their reason is (religious or other objection).

    3. The outbreak primarily affects charedim because it was initially a charedi who brought the disease over from London, and charedim are in close contact with each other. It is natural that it should spread amongst themselves, not because they “adamantly refuse” – yet another Israeli health ministry lie.

    4. The Israeli ministry of health has lied about this on several occasions. I remember last year when 4 people died immediately after having received the flu shot and there was a big hullabaloo with the ministry going out of their way assuring people the shot really was safe. Turns out that 15 people died immediately, not 4! So the question was obviously why the ministry did not disclose that at the same time they were “assuring” people the shot was completely safe? Ministry answer – we didn’t want to worry anyone! So basically, they say whatever they want so as not to “worry anyone.” Whatever they say is only to make them sound all knowing and powerful – the truth is incidental. And they have not a shred of evidence to back up the scandalous statements about charedim.

  7. deepthinker- do you have any proof to back up your lies? dont spread information that you got from on the internet as if you read it in a medical text or peer reviewed journal. no studies to date have been able to establish any such link sorry to break it to you.

  8. This is “FRUMKEIT”? No,it is ‘shtus’ and just again trying to be different than the “modern” world. How come in the non-Chassidshe world,among people just as or maybe even more frum and ehrlich,the babies get their shots? Is this just another case of mistrust of the non-chassidic world? Is this another symptom of looking down on anyone who does not live in a closed narrow-Jewish community but taking the benefits that they want,from the government? I think it is just part of a social problem that is getting worse;that these groups are trying to prove that only the chassidic people are frum and science is avodoh zoroh,just as speaking English is or men going to work and getting jobs. If they are so afraid of possible problems with vaccines,maybe they should have less babies? I’m sorry I feel this way, I’d like to see all K’lal Yisroel following their rabbonim and not “to each his own” and then people playing “follow the leader” when these type of issues arise. I have not seen a p’sak from any poskim ‘assering’ these vaccines. ‘V’nishmartem me’od l’nafshoseichem ‘means preventing out break of serious sicknesses that have been almost wiped out,spread again and becming epidemics.

  9. Another question: was this claim that frum communities don’t vaccinate true or made up by frum-bashers? It is hard to believe that frum b;nei Torah would wnat their children to be sick.

  10. There is a large movement of people not wanting their children vaccinated – at least until a certain age. This is not only in the frum world, but in the secular world, as well. Many of these mothers will go out of their way to give birth to their babies at home, and otherwise keep them away from the health system. They claim that by not vaccinating until age 2, they can eliminate most of the risks supposedly associated with vaccinations. They also feel that by waiting until their children are older for vaccines, they will have developed a large portion of their immunity on their own, without artificial means such as vaccinations. When they enter the school system, many ultimately vaccinate their children, while others still refrain for “moral” and “ethical” reasons.

    There are many problems with this rationale. And none of this has anything do with religion. For starters, they are putting their own children at risk. (Often, they are relying on the rest of us to vaccinate our children, so that their children will not be exposed to preventable illnesses.) They are also putting others at risk. There are many people with compromised immunity, or other factors, that not only prevent them from being vaccinated, but who would also get much sicker should they be exposed to any of these illnesses, usually by people who were not vaccinated.

  11. Deepthinker —


    “Today, all routinely recommended licensed pediatric vaccines that are currently being manufactured for the U.S. market, with the exception of influenza vaccine, contain no thimerosal or only trace amounts.” has a table showing the thimerosal status of each vaccine. It shows the MMRII (measles-mumps-reubella) as never having contained thimerosal.

  12. KAJ guy will you RELAX?? The exceedingly few frum people who don’t vaccinate don’t do so for religious reasons. This is a typical Israeli establishment type LIE against charedim. Business as usual.

  13. Here are some of the facts about vaccination from a prominent researcher Sharon Tenpenney, D.O.

    “The risk of vaccination must be considered as important—and potentially more serious—than the risk of a childhood disease.

    If a “dirty bomb” exposed a large segment of US citizens simultaneously to Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, tetanus, pertussis, diphtheria, Haemophilus influenza B, three strains of polio viruses, 3 strains of influenza viruses, measles, mumps, and rubella viruses, the chickenpox virus, and 7 strains of Streptococcus bacteria, we would declare a national emergency.

    We would call it an “extreme act of BIOTERRORISM”. The public outcry would be immense and our government would act accordingly.

    And yet, those are the very organisms that we inject through vaccines into our babies and our small children, with immature, underdeveloped immune systems. Many are given all at the same time. But instead of bioterrorism, we call it “protection.”

    Reflect a moment on that irony. Vaccine injuries are reported to be “rare”, but only because very few reactions are “accepted” by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as being caused by vaccines.

    I have frequently said that when a vaccine is given, and a bad reaction occurs, “ANYTHING BUT” the vaccine is “blamed” for the reaction. Here is a direct quote from the 6th edition of Epidemiology & Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases called “The Pink Book”, published by the CDC:

    “There is no distinct syndrome from vaccine administration, and therefore, many temporally associated adverse events probably represent background illness rather than illness caused by the vaccine…The DTaP may stimulate or precipitate inevitable symptoms of underlying CNS disorder, such as seizures, infantile spasms, epilepsy or SIDS. By chance alone, some of these cases will seem to be temporally related to DTaP.”

    I have to admit, the first time I read that, I cried. Instead of blaming the vaccine for causing the problem, we blame the children for somehow being defective and the “defect” shows up after we inject them.

    (With incisive reasoning and over 6000 hours of meticulous research, Dr. Tenpenny substantiates her work with citations directly from CDC documents and respected peer-reviewed journals, offers documented proof that vaccines do compromise the immune system, and shares compelling information regarding the “real” risks in choosing not to vaccinate.)

  14. That you will catch Measels is a ‘Sofek’, that you will be harmed by the Mercury in the Vaccine is a ‘Vadai’ – Sofek or Vadai – you guess! Don’t believe what the health professionals tell you, they have other interests, trust your own judgement. There is enough evidence out there and governments are concerned, that is why they have upped their insurance limits against future claims. Remember once they thought there was no harm in smoking?

  15. “those are the very organisms that we inject through vaccines into our babies and our small children”

    With the exception of MMR and varicella vaccines, which are dead viruses, NONE of these viruses are injected into our children through vaccines. The way vaccines work is that a protein from the surface of the vaccine is injected, which tricks the body into thinking the disease is present, thereby triggering an immune response without actual exposure to the disease itself.

    deepthinker, I went to the websites that you quoted on the last discussion looking for studies that back up what you have said. I was unable to find any studies–just articles written, some based on individual cases and some based on opinion without evidence to back it up. I’d love to see some objective studies as I do try to keep an open mind about things.

    “By chance alone, some of these cases will seem to be temporally related to DTaP”

    Why is this not a possibility? Just because 2 things happened at the same time does not mean that one caused the other. This is where it is necessary to look at large studies. I recently looked at an article which claimed a connection between short legs and obesity. Do short legs cause obesity? That seems silly. More likely there is a third element here that we are missing–maybe a gene that codes for both short legs and obesity.

    To someone looking from the outside at a few cases, one could say that short legs cause obesity. It takes further research and studies to come up with the true connection. The same with vaccines.

    The last patient I took care of who had had measles as a child had such severe brain damage that at age 21 she was completely unresponsive, unable to even suck or swallow. This is the reality of the disease itself. The number of children with brain damage from the vaccine is negligible when compared with the large number of children permanently damaged or killed by the massive outbreaks of these diseases that came before vaccine.

    15 years ago, a pediatric resident spent his winter taking care of a ward full of children with meningitis, unable to do anything other than watch as their brains turned to pus (literally). Today, it is rare to find a pediatric resident who has even seen bacterial meningitis. This is 100% due to vaccines. The risk of bad outcome from the vaccines does not approach wards full of children with brain damage or death.

    Again, it is very important to look at studies of large numbers of children and, if you are not trained in critical evaluation of scientific studies to go over them with someone who is able to, before making such a big decision as to whether to vaccinate a child or risk the serious outcomes of the diseases themselves.

  16. The bottom line is, how many of these close to 300 kids who got the measles died? none. how many hospitalized, a few,very briefly. Even the health ministry spokeswoman as quoted in the Hamodia said that the disease usually doesn’t have complications so why the hysteria? If kids were dying, trust me, the oilem would get them vaccinated real quick.
    When a drug company develops a vaccine, the have to make the disease “dangerous” otherwise there is no market.The next generation is going to think chicken pox is dangerous if they never saw it and they listen to their doctors who are scared of being sued.
    You want to be educated? Check out and read the insert that comes with the vaccines. Remember the mumps outbreak in the midwest last year? They all had 2 shots of mumps. Hut zei gurnisht gehulfen! Vaccines is a great business. They’re in kahoots with the government by giving money for campaigns, promising to open new industries, and then the kids nebach are the korbonos. Speak to people in government and you’ll see. Rabbonim unfortunately don’t know more than what their local doctor tells them.

  17. BTW there is no vadai as to being harmed by vaccines as the Measles vaccine does not contain any mercury at all.

    You have been taken in by a bunch of “intelligent sounding” conspiracy theorists.

    Why don’t we ban Dihydrogen Monoxide also. It is a chemical found in all children who die prematurely and is used extensively by the Nuclear industry and all the drug companies use it all the time. In fact this chemical is lethal in all three forms, liquid, gas and solid.

    We should ban it seriously. Dihydrogen (H2) + Monoxide (o) = H2O Water.

    Bottom line don’t get caught up by all the wacky conspiracy theorists out there. The Torah Hakdosha tells us that we must follow current medical advice even in the face of issurei koreis (Yom Kippur).

    BTW doctors actually lose money by administering vaccines as most insurance companies in the US do not reimburse the full cost of the vaccines.

  18. Low platelet count can be fatal-much more lethal than any of the diseases that there are vaccines for and the arthritis that can come as a result of the rubella vaccine in adult women can be permanent.

  19. All those kids who got the measles are now immune for life. Those girls who got it will now transfer immunity to their babies for the first year of their life. Girls who get the vaccine offer their babies no immunity until they either get the disease or vaccinated. So which way protects the babies better?

  20. Funny that a Google search on the the “prominent researcher” cited by deepthinker brings up no one of substance.

    By D.O., I assume he means that this alleged doctor is an Osteopath. In short, they practice a form of medical quackery…

    deepthinker, keep your dark deep thoughts to yourself and stop spouting misinformation that may harm people.

  21. would it not be noce if for a change someone took the time to verify what is really going on. maybe there is a krum frumkeit and maybe something is being misreported. when is the last time you heard a story repeated accurately?!

  22. #20, Chaim Zev, are you nuts? Do you realize what your saying. If you don’t mind I will quote you from above.

    “I think its a lack of emunah to get vaccinated


    A lack of emunah to get vaccinated? Are you kidding? Okay, don’t go to doctors when your sick, don’t get vaccinated and don’t get antibiotics. Good Luck! I hope you live a long and happy life.

  23. art – i didnt even bother googling deepthiners prominent researcher…and you are probably right in that this is one extremist doctor thowing out lots of fancy words to pull in believers…
    I just want to clarify one thing though. when I saw deepthinker name a doctor, with the initials DO after her name, my initial thought was ok, yeah right…DO school….but after having attended medical school and working with many DOs(“allopathic” MD not “osteopathic” DO) i can tell you that the curriculum in most DO schools pretty much parallels MD school curricula. Getting into DO school is much much easier (lower MCAT and gpa requirements), but seriously, many of them take the same licensing exam as MDs (called the USMLE), so in order to pass that, they must have learned something along the way.

    somone in bp – hilarious post!!

    deepthinker – dont believe everything you read on the internet, and dont think for one second youre doing something “right” or “righteous” by not vaccinating your children. Youre just being selfish and putting thousands of other frum children and adults (do you have parents? grandparents? theyre most at risk) in danger. Youre depending on a “safety net” – e/o else is probably vaccinated which means that although we arent, no one else is gong to expose MY kids to measles. this is both incredibly selfish and incredibly stupid.
    just as an aside, since you seem to have gleaned so much medical “knowledge,” i would like to know, have you ever taken a biostatitstics class? how about pathophysiology of disease? have you even an undergraduate degree?? Because its amazing to me that you have all this “evidence” to back yourself up, but seroiusly, if you dont know how to intelligently read and interpret it, it all amounts to — MUSH!!

    amnon yitzchak – while treating kids w/ autism is indeed sad (i hated my psych rotation not because of all the adults w/ depression, bipolar disorder, schitzophrenia, etc etc etc..those were actually interesting…it was hte sick kids that freaked me out), autism donesnt kill, and their brains certainly do not turn to mush. Most important fact of all though: there is no correlation between: measles and autism, measles vaccines and atusim, or mercury and autism. If you dont believe me, let me know and ill post REAL proof from REAL doctors, not internet webpages.

    chaimzev-im assuming you dont buy life insurane, or health insurance for that reason eitehr. its a breach in emunah right? How come we dont have emunah in hashem that well live and be healthy and never need to visit a doctor? and that when we die, our families will be perfectly taken care of b/c hashem will provide? This isnt a religious issue so dont make it one

    torah4me- would you like to show me proof (from something reputable. (that doesnt mean wikipedia or, etc etc etc) – i mean from a well respected medical journal or textbook [both of which are not published by big bad drug companies out to get us all]) that mercury is A “VADAI?” During pregnancy, yes. definitely dangerous. all other times? sorry to bust your bubble. in small amounts, it is not toxic.
    Do you eat fish? maybe you should stop having fish during hte nine days, on friday nights etc etc, because it says “vechai bahem” and by eating fish (which contains mercury) youre hariming yourself.

  24. This topic of vaccine safety can be argued ad infinitum, especially if you think you have investigated and researched this more than the AAP, CDC, NIP, FDA, WHO etc. so I’ll stay away from there. Just to clarify a few points:

    #25 “Those girls who got it will now transfer immunity to their babies for the first year of their life.” – NO! Immunity is transferred only during the initial newborn period. Then why do we delay MMR till age 1? Because if we vaccinate earlier the baby’s immune system is not strong enough to mount an adequate immune respose to build immunity.
    Also, just because you get the MMRV vaccine and you show evidence of immunity by detectable titers, it still does not mean you will NOT get the disease. However, if you are exposed and catch the disease you will most likely have minimal to no symptoms (and at this time you are still considered a carrier of the disease to unimunized children).
    Having being closely involved in the case of a baby with Measles recently in NY, I will tell you this disease is HORRIBLE!
    The only contraindication for the MMR vaccine is anaphylactic reaction to neomycin or to a previous dose of MMR, pregnancy, and known altered immunodeficiency. Thrombocytopenia (low platelets) and egg allergy are precautions and must weigh benefits vs. risk.

  25. Since, first of all the original article seems to be less that truthful,

    and since the thoughts of the “experts” seem to be kind of balanced between both sides of the issue,

    and since after all, it seems that the dire results of failing to vaccinate are not as dire as claimed,

    and since after all, it seems that the side effects of vaccination MAY be worse than claimed by authorities,

    Maybe we should leave it up to parents to decide which of the two evils they wish to expose their kids to.

    To me honest, I was always a supporter of vaccinations, and even keep up my vaccinations today, after reading all these posts, and the sources, I am losing confidence in my own stand.

    I would no longer go off on a tirade against a parent who read all the negatives and preferred to risk the very rare diseases rather than subject their kids to the possibly dangerous vaccines.

    We certainly should not condemn them, or force them. But, I myself will still keep my own vaccines up.

  26. refusing to vaccinate has nothing to do with frumkeit, it has to do with personal choice, and those of us who try to keep informed about health issues, know that vaccinations do contain mercury, a deadly poison, and have been known to cause autism and who knows what else. Yes, we have a commandment called “venishmartem es nafshoseichem meod” and therefore some of consider it a mitzva to refuse to vaccinate our children (myself included, because of all the harm vaccinationscan cause. It is not a frumkeit issue it is an issue for those of us who are concerned with our health.

  27. To all you guys ganging up on “deepthinker”.
    The large pharmaceutical companies don’t want to admit that the MMR could cause autism. The reason is that being that they have been warned about this, they will be sued to a state of going bankrupt. Another reason is because it’s much cheaper to give the vaccine together as opposed to each one separately. Yes. It’s about the all mighty buck! Al shloishe devorim haoilam oimaid: kesef, mamoin, and gelt.
    If anyone would like to have a consultation with the doctor, please contact me.
    The fight against the pharmaceutical companies is to give the MMR separately, but not chas-va-shalom not to give it at all.
    My family is very close to a frum doctor who joined the team, which originated from England. The team relocated to Texas because they were promised funding by Americans, whose kids came down with autism.
    This is not norishkeit. One day the research will prevail. I hope these pharmaceutical companies have a good liability policy!

  28. I hate to burst in on such an “informed” discussion, but the facts are that the scientific studies on the subject do NOT support the growing hysteria suggesting that child vaccinations are linked to autism. The same science that is relied on unquestioningly by the frum community in the case of (Rachmana litzlan) bypass surgery, chemotherapy, etc etc, should be the decisive factor when it comes to innoculating our infants. END OF DISCUSSION!

  29. basmelech made a crucial point and I want to expound upon it bit. To say “venishmartem” to a parent who chooses not to vaccinate is silly, as if they are not doing it out of neglect. Parents who make this most serious decision not to vaccinate often do so after YEARS of research. To them that IS the fullfillment of “venishmartem.” You may disagree vehemently with their APPLICATION of vinishmartem, but you cannot say that they are IGNORING venishmartem.

    And once we’re talking about torah values non vaccinating parents are or are not being “over” on, how about the fact that EVERY single study showing how safe the vaccines supposedly are are in some way backed by the drug companies themselves who produce them? Has anyone heard of SHOCHAD???

  30. yaaviv66 –

    You guys have to get your story straight. deepthinker claims the problem is thimerosal; you think it’s because the three vaccines are bundled together. Thimerosal has been dealt with: it is not present in the MMR, according to the CDC.

    I believe the doctor from England you are referring to is Andrew Wakefield, who claims that “If you give three viruses together, three live viruses, then you potentially increase the risk of an adverse event occurring, particularly when one of those viruses influences the immune system in the way that measles does.”

    Andrew Wakefield is currently up on professional misconduct charges stemming from his original research attempting to link the MMR to autism, which was published in the Lancet in 1998. As you noted, “It’s about the all mighty buck!” One of the charges are that Wakefield was actually being paid to conduct the study by lawyers representing parents who believed their children were harmed by the MMR! There are also some issues with his Thoughtful House program in Austin regarding clinically unnecessary endoscopies and lumbar punctures on children.

    Just do a search for Wakefield — you’ll find more than enough to know that you most definitely should NOT go for a consultation with him or his associates.

    Needless to say, conspiracy theories will never be refuted to the satisfaction of their adherents. I write this comment not to convince you, but in the hope that you don’t convince anyone else.

  31. It would seem something is missing from this story. Every chareidi neighborhood in chul has a pediatrician given vaccine shots. Where are the epidemics in Williamsburg, Boropark, Monsey, and Kiryas Yoel? We gotta be at least as chareidi as these guys. There is no religious reason. This sounds like it’s anti chareidi propaganda straight out of haaretz.

  32. Update: Just as I suspected. It’s out of Jpost which is just as bad as Haaretz. The epidemic in London consisted of 5 people. The original article said:
    “A lot of Jewish people are sheltered from the media, many homes do not have a TV or radio and people may not necessarily read the general press. It may well be that a more carefully targeted manner of encouraging people to take up vaccinations maybe more appropriate for that community.”
    It has nothing to do with religious reasons as is clearly stated in the original source article.

  33. I come from a family that does not vaccinate due to the side effects that can be caused R”L by the vaccine. When my first was born I asked a She’eilas Chochom and was told that due to the fact that in Eretz Yisroel many of these diseases DO go around we SHOULD vaccinate.
    Statistics have proven that the amount of complications caused by vaccines and the amount of complications caused by not taking them and R”L having the complication of the illness itself are the same. We’d rather not have to blame ourselves if something Chas Vshalom occurs due to neglect of doing Hishtadlus!

  34. tootired- “every single study showing how safe the vaccines supposedly are are in some way backed by drug companies” Which “studies” are YOU referring to? Yes, some are backed by drug companies. But many are not. If the researchers performing a study received funding from an outside source (e.g. a drug company), they absolutely must declare this and its written in italics or a smaller font on the first or last page of the article. It says something like this article must legally be marked as “advertisement” due to the author’s affiliation with and the funding received from Abott, Roche or whoever. No one is secretly getting paid cash by a drug company and publishing biased results after being bribed. Just wouldnt fly in the scientific world.

    also, no one thinks that people who say that theyre all “educated” about the dangers of vaccination, are refusing to vaccinate b/c they want to be neglectful parents. But whether they are ready to admit it or not, their decisions are irresponsible, selfish, and ignorant. I am not vehemently disagreeing w/ anyones application of the mitvah of vinishmartem, I am just assuming that they are all ignorant and are sinning beshogeg. Just like i dont “disagree” when s/o drives to shul on shabbos and thinks theyre doing such a mitzvah by going to shul altogether. I just realize theyre ignorant and are a tinok shenishba. Same thing.

    yaaviv66 – the large drug companies dont want to admit that it causes autism, because it doesnt. just because there is a correlation (ie two year olds get vaccinated, two year olds begin to talk, two year olds w/ autism dont talk, and the lack of speech becomes evident at age 2 around the same time as vaccination), doesnt mean that vaccination caused the autism. There has been in increase in the number of cases of autism diagnosed in the past couple decades, and there has also been an increase in the number of psychologists and psychiatrists diagnosing this disorder, mainly because of increased awareness and a change in the diagnostic criteria in the early 80s. several large epidemiological studies (none of which were funded by drug companies) performed in the last 10 years have found no correlation btwn vaccination and autism. Clinical evidence is lacking, and the molecular evidence finds no association whatsoever. Take a Biostatistics class, or a class on evaluating medical literature, before you jump to conclusions like that. Its just not sound science.

    basmelech – first of all, the measles vaccine does NOT contain mercury. never did, never will, period. second of all, please dont telling people on this board how “those of us who try to keep informed” know so much better. Have you gone to medical school? im assuming you havent. Have you gone to nursing school? PA school? College even? So dont lecture e/o else on how “well informed” you are because you passed AP biology and have hte ability to read articles on the internet, because other people spend years of their lives studying these issues, and are just a tad bit more “well informed” than you. Third, is that you might not be choosing to not immunize your kids for “religious” reasons, but the problem is that when people fill out the immunization forms for schools, and explain therein why they refused to vaccinate, being that the city requires a pretty valid “excuse,” MANY people cite “religious” reasons, and e/o just turns a blind eye. Its not only a chillul hashem, but it is absolutley sickening to me that people use the Torah as a false “shield” to get things to go their way.

  35. HSCOHEN1 says “END OF DISCUSSION”. Guess what? The medical industry has said that about all the things we now know in hindsight were wrong, unhelpful, dangerous and at times deadly. Doctors used to recommend smoking, perform lobotmies, encourage bottle feeding, all in relatively recent years (not to say they are all equally bad, of course) and we, the populous, unquestionably accepted their expertise. In our own lifetimes the medical industry has backed down – if not outright reversed – its previously held dogmas. No such thing as END OF DISCUSSION. To those kids who were FINE a minute before the DPT and were not fine a minute after – forever -and are told – your kid’s nuerological problems are not from the vaccine – you can be sure as heck the discussion is NOT OVER. To some entire European countries the discussion that Israel is wrong is OVER. of course, they are wrong. IT’s not OVER.

  36. house77 #40:
    You’re singing the same song as the drug companies.
    Only time will tell.

    HSCOHEN1 #34:
    Please listen to tootired

    burich #36:
    In regards to the accusations against Dr. Wakefield: The monetary power of the pharmaceutical companies is working against Wakefield to protect themselves.
    The hospital in England, where Wakefield was doing his research, was politically forced by the pharmaceutical companies to let him go.

  37. House 77, in theory you are right. I would love to believe that if the FDA comes out with a drug that passed its muster, it MUST be safe. In reality it is just not so. The FDA takes “user” fees from the drug companies, an inherent conflict of interest. This automatically impugns the purity of the research. This is a torah concept as well. If the halacha is so strict to say that if a person takes a small amount of money from a fellow he is forbidden to judge the fellow then al achas kama vekama does our case fall under shochad. In this case we are talking about drug companies standing to lose or gain a billion dollars.

    You say it just won’t fly in the scientific community .I wish you were right. In my (non medical) field, the conflict of interest rules are so strict they are ludicrous. But it’s ok for, say, the spouse of a Merck board member to be on a state committee debating whether or not a vaccine should be mandated. That is not just conflict of interest, it is incestuous!

    This is not a wacky conspiracy theory. In my years of research (neglectful you call me? lazy? uneducated tinok shenishba?) I’ve poured over congressional hearing records detailing the egregious conflict of interests inherent in ALL drug testing. This is public record should you wish to seek it. But it just can’t be stopped – the average joe cannot compete with the exceedingly powerful drug lobby.

    House 77, by calling someone who does not follow accepted medical practice sinning beshogeg you are sliding down a very slippery slope. Like we’ve said, examples abound of the medical industry reversing their positions on what was once considered irrefutable. So when does the sin beshogeg stop? When 10 scientists disagree with accepted medical practice? When 100? 1000? When its 50/50 and in the meantime people are getting lung cancer since they after all are listening to their doctors in 1930 who said it was good to smoke? Just wondering. Why should 1930 be different from 2007? In 50 years from now accepted medical practice will have changed again.

  38. The reason people cite religious reasons to exempt their children from being vaccinated is because that is the only reasons allowed to have your child admitted to school without immunizations. You cannot write personal reasons or health reasons as an exemption.That is not considered an acceptable reason. In my personal humble opinion, people nowadays have a lowered immunity due to all the vaccines and drugs pumped into them. Maybe nowadays people wouldn’t be able to survive the measles because of that. When I was a child everyone had measles and all the other childhood illnesses and most people did not have complications. I still think it should be a personal choice issue. There are ways to improve one’s immune system,and that we should do all we can to stay healthy. (All the “garbage” children eat these days does nothing for one’s health, just look at the ingredients on the all the junk food and even ready made “food”. If people would eat better we’d all be stronger immunewise.)

  39. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. If the chareidim want to be foolish and no avail themselves of vaccinations, that’s their choice. It’s a stupid choice, but people have the right to be stupid.

  40. My sister is a teacher in Jerusalem. She has a student who was born with a serious heart condition and was not able to be immunized due to his compromised immunity. the theory is that if everyone else is immunized then the communal immunity will protect him. Guess what? A kid in the class came down with the measles the week that this child was finally scheduled for very necessary heart surgery. The surgery was pushed off, of course, due to his close exposure to the measles. Now, who bears the responsibility for this young child having his surgery postponed for who knows how long? (So many factors have to be present at the same time for him to eligible for this surgery.) Wake up and smell the coffee!!!!

    The reason that frum people (in Jerusalem, at least) don’t get shots has nothing to do with religion. It is because they fall for every scare story or theory that they hear about. Rumors fly around the community and people don’t have the education to be able to seperate truth from quackery.

  41. If there wasn’t billions of dollars at stake for the pharmaceutical companies I would be more inclined to believe the studies that indicate there is no risks in vaccinating children.
    To those who keep touting studies that have shown no links between vaccinations and neurological problems – do you ever question who sponsored the studies?

    Do you ever wonder why the government legislates which vaccines must be given to our children? (NJ just passed a law mandating all children 1-5 years of age receive a flu vaccine annually?) I’m not sure the govenor of Texas signing a law mandating the HPV vaccine for all school age children had nothing at all to do with his good friend the CEO of the pharmaceutical company that produces the HPV Vaccine?

    How many of us had chicken pox as kids – why is the chicken pox vaccine now mandated (Merck the maker of the vaccine admits they are not sure how long the vaccine remains effective – getting chicken pox ensures immunity for life)?

    I myself have not decided what the answer is but I do know that people who do not vaccinate their kids raise valid questions – Parents must educate themselves on all issues relating to their childrens health – do not just walk into the doctors office and follow everything he/she says – question and research and hopefully you’ll make the best decision for your children.

  42. The drug company’s studies are slanted in their favor obviously, because they’re in the business to sell as much drugs as possible and make as much money as possible. Therefore I take their studies with a grain of salt. I’d much rather believe an unbiased study that was done for no personal gain. I believe that we are over drugged and over immunized and under educated as to how to stay healthy in our polluted world.

  43. mt mehdi – no. I work at a pretty large hospital in brooklyn that you probably frequent.
    and basmelech – i dont care what your justification is for citing “religious” reasons to not vaccinate your children, its still SHEKER and its still wrong. Do I care why s/o steals from the government or cheats on their taxes? do I care why s/o has an affair? do i care why s/o cheats on a test in school? Whatever ppl do, thats their own issue. But dont go around thinking your so righteous doing s/t that is clearly wrong and you know is wrong. Theres obviously a reason why schools require forms like these to be filled out (and NO, its not because the schools have ties with merck. its because they care about the safety of the students there), and you cirumventing the system puts thousands of kids and their extended families in harms way. Do whatever you want. but dont think for a second what youre doing isnt totally selfish. And youre humble “opinions” about immunity are just that. your own opinion. Take NUTRITION or BIOCHEMISTRY before you start forming opinions about how soda is causing all the problems in this country and if we would just give our kids apple juice instead theyd all be disease free. you just sound like an ignorant natural fanataic.

  44. deepthinker and yaaviv66 –

    Classic case of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.” You do NOT both seem to have the same problem with the MMR: deepthinker is pushing thimerosal, and yaaviv66 (as per Wakefield) is pushing the 3-in-1 theory.

    As to Wakefield’s professional misconduct case (I’m shouting over the chorus of conspiracists), Nick Chadwick, the graduate student who double-checked Wakefield’s results, testified in federal court that every single result came back negative: even the few positive results turned out to be false positives. He further testified that he informed Wakefield of his findings, and he was ignored. These were the same tests carried out on the same source material, in the same lab, with the same equipment. Wakefield either inadvertently made an error, or deliberately engineered his study to find what he wanted to. He did not, however, attempt to recheck after Chadwick found him to be in error.

    One interesting thing is that people are noting that accepted scientific dogma changes over time. That’s true. And if the studies ever DO show that vaccines, whether a specific one or in general, have side effects that outweigh their benefits, then established medical practice can and will be changed.

    Bringing examples of vaccines that have been withdrawn and established medical practice that has evolved DOES NOT prove that modern medicine is dangerously subsumed to the pharmaceuticals. On the contrary, if these pharmaceuticals were so powerful, and vaccines so dangerous, how do you explain the vaccines that ARE withdrawn? Vioxx? Yes, these drugs are powerful and CAN have harmful effects; but when they find out about them, they are withdrawn. Not quite the picture of the ultra-powerful pharmaceutical industry you’ve painted.

    Are they out to make money? Sure. Are they always ethical about how they do it? Of course not. But in the end, the big things do fall into place. And they’re not keeping grand secrets from the populace. There are waaaaaaaaaay too many independent researchers who would LOVE to find problems with the pharmaceuticals. Most of them, however, stick to evidence and facts. Wakefield just couldn’t.

  45. house 77

    Please correct me if I’m wrong. Dr. Wakefield is against giving the MMR together as one shot. However, I don’t think he’s against giving it separately, at the appropriate time in a child’s life.

  46. house77, while I agree with your arguments and I sympathize, don’t resort to name calling and personal attacks, since it undermines your position. I do think that ignorance and suspicion, as well as a willingness to listen to anecdotal rather than scientific and statistical evidence, is what’s driving most of the anti-vaccine crowd.

  47. burich

    As I mentioned before: Time will tell.
    But don’t think for one second that my kids weren’t vaccinated with the MMR. We asked our pediatrician to give it separately; however, she couldn’t get hold of it. So we took our chances and davened.

  48. yaaviv i believe youre right, he is not opposed to giving the vaccines seperately. (which, by the way, is a very viable option for ppl who dont want to do MMR together. and trust me, its NOT in the drug company’s best interest to market it this way, it costs them more, so if you want to be “extra” safe, and you really believe theres a harm in doing them all at once, do this). But I havent read the original lancet paper in years. So I dont know what he believes….
    basmelech-youre right! any study done by a drug company, or by a dr or researcher working in conjunction w/ a drug company, is certainly very biased!! That is why they MUST note their affiliatin w/ the drug company on the first page of the article! They have to say, basically, by the way, pfizer is paying me, or taking me out to lunch daily, etc, for doing their study, so just reader, beware.” And trust me, ANYONE with half a brain who reads these studies in medical journals, takes them with way more than a grain of salt. more like a pound of salt. very nice data, but um, whos signing YOUR paycheck? But there are many studies that are NOT funded by drug companies, performed by drs w/ no affiliations whatsoever.
    “we are overdrugged and undereducated” – well you might be, as you seem to indicate through your oh so insightrul and intelligent posts. but whos claiming to be undereducated?

  49. #12 (kaj)I do agree that if someone doesn’t give the vaccine due to “religious reasons” they are FRUM -KRUM (frim-krim) but I don’t think that’s the case here, & even if there are some individuals that you’d call a ‘Chossid Shoita’ it’s not CHASSIDIM more than any other religious group. Before you start bashing innocent people stop & check if you’re not stereotyping.

  50. willi-

    basmelech said “the reason people cite religious reasons to exempt their children from being vaccinated is because that is the only reasons allowed to have your child admitted to school without immunizations. You cannot write personal reasons or health reasons as an exemption.That is not considered an acceptable reason”
    So sure, thats not the REAL reason. the real reason is [well i wanted to write that theyre selfish and ignorant, but im holding myself back] that they have personal objections. But it doesnt matter. they INVOLVED religion, by saying theyre not vaccinating for “religious reasons” and that is a major problem and is KRUM as u say.

  51. Proud KAJ-WH TIDE Guy (#12 and #13),
    I find it amazing how you first use this story to bash chassidim and then ask if the story is true or if it was fabricated by frum bashers.

  52. yaaviv66 –

    Yes, time will tell. I personally think time has told; perhaps something will change. I doubt it.

    I will reiterate, though, that the opposition here appears to be fractured along different fault lines: the opposition is not unified. Almost everyone has different reasons why the vaccine is no good. Some even think that they’re ALL good reasons, but those people would likely assume that any new theory attempting to discredit the vaccination process is legitimate just to keep preconceived notions safe.

  53. charliehall

    Thanks for putting it down so eloquently.
    However, as I stated before in #54 & #56; in order to stay away from the problem, they should administer the MMR separately. We find many times in halacha that when in doubt, stay away. This they refrain from doing because it will make an impact on the bottom line earnings.

  54. I don’t get it. If vaccines work to protect from that particular disease, why are all those that vaccinate worried about those that want to make a CHOICE not to take the risks associated with vaccines? They’re protected anyway, aren’t they?

    Bottom line: In a democratic country NO ONE should be forced to choose one medical choice over another. There’s plenty of risks on both sides – and if I do my research and decide that certain vaccines are NOT worth the risk, whether because another child of mine suffered severe side-effects or note, I should be allowed to do so and not intimidated or threatened by ANYONE that “your” choice is better.

  55. Dr. Hall than you for your eloquent post! Finally there are more scientists saying what has been said over and over. I find it scary that people in the “frum” world feel its ok to not vaccinate their children, I personally havent encountered such a strong opposition to medical authority in my own practice but then again, im not a pediatrician, so maybe im not being exposed to more “fanatic” and “militant” young parents? (although im a young parent myself and nonetheless find this attitude shocking, when I attempt to NOT look at it as a Dr but rather as a parent)…

  56. #65–there is no such thing as a vaccine that works 100%. most are in the 85-90% range. For those for whom the vaccine does not “take”, they rely on the fact that if everyone is vaccinated they won’t be exposed and therefore will not get the disease. When someone else chooses not to vaccinate, they increase the risks for themselves and for those for whom the vaccine did not work.

    The mumps outbreak in the midwest last year is a classic example of this. One unvaccinated child visited another country and contracted mumps. He returned to his community which, for religious reasons, chooses not to vaccinate. The mumps then spread throughout the community. As there are several communities in the area which don’t vaccinate, the disease spread further and further. Eventually, 3000 people came down with mumps, about half of whom were vaccinated but were among the 15% for whom the vaccine did not work. The communities which chose not to vaccinate did not only endanger themselves, but caused disease to spread to others who did vaccinate as well.

  57. #65 is absolutely correct. You have the right to choose not to vaccinate your children. But imagine how you’ll feel if one of them gets sick and possibly dies as a result. Wanna take that chance based upon research that the medical community has roundly rejected? Hey they’re your kids not my (vaccinated) kids.

  58. Just curious to take a poll among the contributors here.

    Though this is very different, take a case of common head-lice/nits.

    1. Would you rid your kids of lice because

    a) it’s your kid and he shouldn’t have lice
    b) you don’t want him transferring it around school
    c) the school forces you to do so
    d) it’s ok to have lice

    Is it ok for a kid with lice to be in school?
    In your kids class?
    With his coat/hood hanging next to your kids?

    Is it ok for you to send your kid to some social event that he has waited for
    a) knowing that he is not 100% nit/lice free

    Do you tell the host that there is a possibility…

    How would you feel if others reacted in kind?

    How much important is you living in a ‘civilized society’ to protect others from what you may/ may not believe in , but they clearly do? (most schools don’t allow kids in unless they bring proof that they are lice-nit-free).

    I’m wondering if the source of these comments are a general attitude and approach to things, as opposed to the ‘thing’ itself.

  59. So let’s go for a minute with what you’re saying -that 15% of the time vaccines don’t “take”.

    Why don’t you just accept the unvaccinated child as part of those 15%? Or maybe we should have everyone tested, even after they take the vaccine if it “took” and if it didn’t – they should be banned from attending public places?

    If according to my belief, and/or research, that vaccines are a risk, and my “informed decision” is NOT to vaccinate my children at this point, it is my right.

    FYI – my friend’s child got the mumps a couple of years ago, and he WAS up to date with his shots. Obviously those that have questions and are concerned about the safety of vaccines, now have additional reason to hesitate – if the “efficency” of vaccines (the whole purpose of taking that risk) is also in question.

  60. mom18 – you’re comparing apples to oranges. And not because you brought up the nits/lice angle… but because the difference is that the child HAS a known case of NITS/LICE which IS catchy.

    Whereas the unvaccinated child does not HAVE anything “catchy”, infectious, or otherwise.

    And no, I do not believe that one has to risk injuring his own child (if one believes it is a risk)for the “supposed” sake of others. I don’t think that’s a Torah’dik view either.

  61. #69 – imagine that one DID vaccinate a perfectly healthy child who then became paralyzed as a result? (Which is exactly what happened recently to a local Jewish baby!! H”Y)

  62. QUESTION: Am really curious if all those commenting on this board, that are anti-choice on the vaccine issue, would easily give a mandated HIV vaccine (probably around the corner!). Or would you investigate, do some really good research, get informed if it was without risks, “safe enough”… before giving it to your child? or YOURSELF?

  63. To the “Doctor” who’s worried about “militant young parents” and afraid of “patients who question medical AUTHORITY”:

    You SCARE me.

    A doctor is a human being with ALOT of knowledge and (hopefully) skill who can be a PARTNER in healing the patient.

    My kind of doctor: One who respectfully listens to the patient, and ADVISES on the best course of treatment. If the patient has concerns, he may change his advice, OR respectfully disagree (even “fire the patient” if he feels he can’t be of help to him) but never to be so egotistical and say/think that MEDICAL advice is ABSOLUTELY/AUTHORATITIVE.

    Humans may err. And a doctor is human.

  64. DrHall:

    When your child is the one that may have been affected by that “tiny risk factor” that vaccines carry – it makes sense that you become the one who’s dissenting from the overwhelming majority opinion – scientific/medical/popular community.

    To say that it is ABSOLUTELY, UNEQUIVOCALLY wrong (and UNJewish) to raise questions about the safety and efficency of vaccines is preposterous.

    In fact, there’s plenty of dissenting opinion within the medical field itself, raising enough doubt.

    If one of your children would be adversely affected by a vaccine, I doubt you’d be so “confident” in the scientific/medical studies, and the resulting list of mandatory vaccines.

  65. #53 Dr. Wakefield
    – The graduate student’s refute of Dr. Wakefield has been refuted in court.

    – The patent that Dr. Wakefield patented before his claim was not for his own vaccine of Measles. It was for a blood test that could detect Measles.
    As I posted before, he isn’t against the vaccine. He just wants it given separately and at a later stage in life.