Over 500 doctors, representing numerous Jewish communities across North America, signed a letter confirming the need for all children and healthy adults to get immunized according to the CDC schedule. This mass declaration by medical professionals, likely the first of its kind addressing broad Orthodox Jewish communities nationally, directly and starkly calls out the dangerous falsehoods being spread by so called anti-vaxxers.
The message reads, “We are aware of the dangerous misinformation campaign being spread and reject any unproven unscientific statements that contradict all available current science-based studies on vaccinations.” What makes the statement that much more important is that it comes at a time when Jewish communities are battling not only the potential for a measles outbreak in their own backyards, but also the false perception that Orthodox Jews do not vaccinate. Indeed, statistics issued by the NYS and NYC Health departments confirm that in fact the overwhelming majority of Orthodox Jewish children are vaccinated, and the doctors in this letter are aiming their recommendations to the small percentage of people who have refused to inoculate themselves and their children from dreaded illnesses like measles, mumps, rubella and other diseases, at the expense of the larger community.
The letter, available at www.DRSFORVAAX.ORG, is signed by recognized and trusted physicians from literally every medical specialty from various states including; New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, as well as Toronto and Montreal, calling on individuals and Jewish communities to work together to “prevent harmful diseases from spreading.”
Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt, a clinical professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a highly respected physician and Rabbi in Long Island, said “it is critically important for the Jewish world to know that the greatest Poskim from all branches of Orthodox Jewry, as well as the greatest physicians (both number and quality) are in full agreement as to the pikuach nefashos imperative regarding measles vaccination.”
Doctors and Askanim are also increasing efforts to inform adults in the wider community to check their own existing immunity levels, because many adults are under the impression that they are properly protected when their childhood immunization may no longer be effective due to a wearing off of the vaccine. Doctors are fearful that this is a potential danger to thousands of unsuspecting individuals.
The doctors’ declaration is being featured in a mass public information campaign with the participation of numerous media outlets, and includes the launching of a new website www.DRSFORVAAX.ORG that will provide viewers with an expanded doctors’ list, location, credentials, specialties and updated and timely information on immunization.