Touro Medical School: Vaccinating is an Absolute Must

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As leaders of medical schools operated under Jewish auspices, we feel it is essential to make our views known concerning a recent public health issue. Opponents of vaccinations have swayed parents in some Jewish communities to refuse immunizations for their children. This has resulted in two of the largest measles outbreaks in New York’s recent history. The opposition to vaccines is not confined to the Jewish community but represents part of an ill-informed nationwide movement opposed to vaccines.

As of last week, there were 24 confirmed cases of measles in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Boro Park and an additional 75 people in Rockland County had contracted measles as well. Additional cases are currently under investigation, and the number is expected to continue rising.

Childhood vaccines preserve health, prevent disease and save lives. Proper vaccination is an essential public health strategy and parents must be made aware of the scientific research on this critical issue.

Members of our faculty have previously reported, in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM 2012 367:1704-1713), the ability of the childhood viral disease mumps to spread rapidly among children in the close quarters of yeshiva study halls or Beit Midrash. Similarly, measles seems to thrive in these conditions.

Measles is a viral disease that can prevented by vaccination. The myth that measles vaccines are associated with autism has been thoroughly debunked by scientific research. Twelve years after publishing a study that turned some parents against the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine because of an implied link between vaccinations and autism, the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet, retracted the paper. In a statement published on February 2, 2010, the British medical journal editors said that it is now clear that “several elements” of a 1998 paper published by Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues (Lancet 1998;351[9103]:637–41) “are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation.” Wakefield’s UK medical license was subsequently revoked as a result of unethical behavior, misconduct and fraud.

Measles cannot be dismissed as a simple “childhood viral disease.” It can be a serious illness in all age groups. Children younger than five years of age and adults older than 20 years of age are more likely to suffer from measles complications. People who experience severe complications, may need to be hospitalized and could die. Up to one out of every 20 children with measles contracts pneumonia, the most common cause of childhood death from measles. About one child out of every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or with intellectual disability. For every 1,000 children with measles, one or two will die from it. Measles may cause pregnant woman to give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby. Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a rare fatal disease that results from a measles virus infection acquired earlier in life. SSPE generally develops 7 to 10 years after a person has measles, even though the person seems to have fully recovered. The risk of developing SSPE may be higher for children who get measles before they are two years of age.

Several Jewish legal authorities have weighed in on the issue of requiring children to have vaccines or of allowing religious exemptions for school children to avoid vaccination. Recently, in response to the outbreak of measles in the United States and Israel, many have called for universal vaccination. However, there still appears to be some resistance to requiring universal vaccination. One prior Jewish legal opinion written three years ago justified refusing vaccines on the grounds that the risks of contracting measles were low. We believed then as has been now unfortunately demonstrated that these medical facts were in error.

Childhood vaccination against preventable infectious disease is one of medicine’s great triumphs. We support the proper use of childhood vaccination as a crucial technique of preventive medicine and decry those who make misrepresentations to parents regarding this important issue.

New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Harlem, NY

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Middletown, NY

Touro University California, College of Osteopathic Medicine Vallejo, CA

Touro University Nevada, College of Osteopathic Medicine Henderson, NV

11 COMMENTS

    • yet ,you can talk !! i am not affiliated with touro but any institution or individual that has done the research may voice an opinion

  1. Anonymus,
    What is your point ? They never said that they represent either.
    A Medical school has a nerve to express a medical opinion? Tell that to your Doctor on your next visit.
    You should live until 120 – healthy long years.

  2. Measles vaccination is a hoax because it’s NOT a lifetime immunity. You have to keep vaccinating as long as you live. One who’s vaccinated cannot get the measles, hence these measles breakouts were from those who were lax in updating their vaccination or those who do not want to be vaccinated. So blame yourselves for your stupidity of injecting yourselves with dangerous substances that can cause autism and other neurological problems (as has been sadly proven over and over again among the heimishe people) to last just a short while. Are the vaxxers normal?

    • by that logic, ‘eating’ is also a hoax because it doesnt last forever.
      I’m assuming you ate yesterday but will still eat today.

  3. Blame Yourselves,

    The definition of a hoax is generally accepted to mean a deception.
    Nobody is deceived into thinking that they never need a booster.
    The vaccinations are effective and keep people safe and protected from the dreaded diseases.
    The opinion that you follow is a hoax because you have been deceived into thinking that you can stay safe from dreaded diseases without taking the vaccinations.

  4. Blame yourself it’s a nebach on you .You sound like a brainwashed fool.I really can’t believe some of my co religionists now.Falling for cults and conspiracy theories.

  5. Below is the abstract of a pilot study done last year by professors at Jackson State University comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated “long-term outcomes of the vaccination schedule..”

    https://www.oatext.com/Pilot-comparative-study-on-the-health-of-vaccinated-and-unvaccinated-6-to-12-year-old-U-S-children.php

    Abstract
    Vaccinations have prevented millions of infectious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths among U.S. children, yet the long-term health outcomes of the vaccination schedule remain uncertain. Studies have been recommended by the U.S. Institute of Medicine to address this question. This study aimed 1) to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children on a broad range of health outcomes, and 2) to determine whether an association found between vaccination and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD), if any, remained significant after adjustment for other measured factors. A cross-sectional study of mothers of children educated at home was carried out in collaboration with homeschool organizations in four U.S. states: Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oregon. Mothers were asked to complete an anonymous online questionnaire on their 6- to 12-year-old biological children with respect to pregnancy-related factors, birth history, vaccinations, physician-diagnosed illnesses, medications used, and health services. NDD, a derived diagnostic measure, was defined as having one or more of the following three closely-related diagnoses: a learning disability, Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. A convenience sample of 666 children was obtained, of which 261 (39%) were unvaccinated. The vaccinated were less likely than the unvaccinated to have been diagnosed with chickenpox and pertussis, but more likely to have been diagnosed with pneumonia, otitis media, allergies and NDD. After adjustment, vaccination, male gender, and preterm birth remained significantly associated with NDD. However, in a final adjusted model with interaction, vaccination but not preterm birth remained associated with NDD, while the interaction of preterm birth and vaccination was associated with a 6.6-fold increased odds of NDD (95% CI: 2.8, 15.5). In conclusion, vaccinated homeschool children were found to have a higher rate of allergies and NDD than unvaccinated homeschool children. While vaccination remained significantly associated with NDD after controlling for other factors, preterm birth coupled with vaccination was associated with an apparent synergistic increase in the odds of NDD. Further research involving larger, independent samples and stronger research designs is needed to verify and understand these unexpected findings in order to optimize the impact of vaccines on children’s health.

    • But you arent taking this far enough.
      Even for those that aren’t vaccinated, the reason why there isnt a huge amount of measles in their circles (alot of measles, just not a huge amount) is because almost all the people they interact with, have the measles vaccination.
      In places where the general populace are not vaccinated, the death toll is in the thousands.

      and add this quote
      ” In 1980, 2.6 million people died of it, and in 1990, 545,000 died; by 2014, global vaccination programs (or whatever fantastic claim, the anti vaxxers come up with) had reduced the number of deaths from measles to 73,000″

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