Babies, the Silent Victims of Antivaxxers


By Rabbi Elchanan Poupko

Just recently, two pregnant women in Brooklyn were found to have the measles with the disease hitting a shocking 390 victims in New York City alone. While many debate the topic of vaccines, there is a group of victims that cannot speak up on the topic: babies and unborn children. The primary risk antivaxxers pose, is to pregnant women’s health, and newborns.

True, there are other groups of people who are affected by the reckless decision to not vaccinate. People who are immunocompromised, those who did not have a booster vaccine recently enough, and others, those who cannot speak for themselves are most at risk. Measles can cause pregnant women to either lose their pregnancy or for the baby to be born with major health problems such as deafness or other major health problems. This is not a kumbaya situation where we can say:” well, why don’t we just agree to disagree”, this is a situation where a group is placing another group at direct risk. Intentions do not matter here. It is one group, risking the lives of others who are defenseless with science being very one sided on the matter.

Sure, I have seen and heard the arguments of the antivaxxers; the distrust in big pharma, the anecdotal-hearsay “evidence”, and the desire to do things the “natural” way. I am not going to debate those. It is not for me to debate those. I am not a medical doctor. I have not dedicated 12 years of my life— or more— to study the human body, disease-prevention, and medicine. My wife, her mother, my aunt, and millions of others, have done so. Without any vested financial interest in this topic, they will tell you: MMR vaccines save lives. It’s not just them, the overwhelmingly vast majority of doctors will tell you the same. Period. Nothing more to it. Sure, can you find 0.001% of doctors who say vaccines are terrible probably. You can find that percent of engineers telling you never to get on a bridge or an airplane.

Living in New York City, I am surrounded by bridges and tunnels. Whether it is the beautiful George Washington Bridge, the illuminated Lincoln Tunnel, the Triboro bridge, or the Verrazano Bridge, I deeply appreciate them all. They allow me to come in and out of my home island of Manhattan, plus minus the inevitable traffic. I have yet to have seen a car pull over, the driver look at the bridge and deem it unsafe, turn around and leave. Definitely not someone with a degree in music or philosophy. And yet, when it comes to measles and vaccines, there is suddenly a “debate”. Anyone is welcome to way in. Risking the lives and health of others, antivaxxers, shy away from no argument. While the majority are happy to argue back, silent lives are being lost and destroyed, and unthinkable damage is being done.

Having on the one hand people who have dedicated their lives and careers to the study of medicine tell me how vaccines save lives and how lack thereof endangers the lives of others, while others with no medical backgrounds (sorry, some did have a degree in natural nutrition, psychotherapy, and other “experts” who were happy to way in on life-threatening issues) share something they saw once on Facebook, made judgment pretty easy.

For anyone to be so callous as to endanger the lives of babies, to destroy viable pregnancies, to maim and injure innocent children, to inflict developmental disabilities on children who should have had every opportunity in the world open to them, is not “another side of the argument”, it is an unforgivable sin.

As we mark on Passover our Exodus from Egypt and redemption from a Paroh who was on a mission to bring death upon the babies of the Israelites, let us counter that with the celebration of life, take all life-affirming measures recommended by health professionals, and may we all be blessed with the blessings of Shifra and Puah who saved the children of Israel. Right after Pesach as we begin saying slichos for Bahab, we will say a special prayer for illnesses that strike children. Diglei Am…hatzel minegef ve’al yi’hyu leshisuf”. The flags of our people, the dear children, please save from an epidemic so that they not be slain. Never did I think we would have to implore our own neighbors and friends with this prayer, but I ask you today to ask everyone you know, “Hatzel Minegef”, save them from an epidemic. Let’s make sure we reach %100 vaccination rates so that there are no more silent victims of measles, and that everyone see happy, healthy, and ehrliche children—doros yeshorim u’mevorachim.

Rabbi Elchanan Poupko is a rabbi, teacher, and bipartisanship activist. His recent TEDx talk The High Price of Political Polarization focused on the impact polarization has on society. He lives with his wife in New York City.



  1. The rubbela part of the mmr actually causes birth defects. Thats why i was told to go on birth control after receiving the mmr as an adult. Besides i know too many pregnent women who had a miss right after their flu shot.

    • > “The rubbela part of the mmr actually causes birth defects.”

      So why wait until pregnancy to be vaccinated? How about vaccinating (at east 28 days) before trying to get pregnant? By that time any possible ill affects should be gone.

      > Besides i know too many pregnent women who had a miss right after their flu shot.

      The flu shot is not the topic. You may as well argue about the mmr vaccine by stating that “besides, I know too many pregnant women who had a miss right after eating peanuts”. But I have to wonder, you know none who “had a miss” right after NOT receiving a flu shot?

  2. Anonymous anecdotal evidence vs the advice of the Shomer Torah Umitzvos pediatrician who has for 25 years encouraged us to interrupt his shabbos and yom tov with his family even for a chashash of illness, who is known to suffer terrible yissurin over the rare lose of a young patient to cancer or birth defect or SIDS, r”l, who’s yomim nora’im tears flow in out of control rivers, davening for every sick child from morning to night, who’s big nachas is listening to the heart beats of babys born to young parents he himself cared for as infants, who’s home is a bais vaad lachachomim and who’s door is open to every meshulach, who refuses payment from struggling parents, all while spending hours in learning.

    Hmmmmm….tough choice.

    • No offense to that wonderful selfless tzaddik but there is a Possuk in the Torah “Ki Hashochad”. See what Rav Elchonon Taztal explains on this. This does not belittle him but he is Possul for eidus in this matter. A practice like his makes at least hundreds of thousands of dollars for fully vaccinating patients.

  3. This is a Rabbi? How disrespectful,arrogant,and cruel, to dismiss the cries of parents whose children were severely injured or killed by vaccines as “anecdotal-hearsay “evidence””. On top of that to add insult to injury by labeling parents who do not vaccinate as “Baby Killers”? Unfortunately, wide swaths of the Rabbinate and the Orthodox Jewish Media seem to have been gripped by Insanity as it pertains to this issue. Besides the baby killer moniker we have a Holy Five Towns Rabbi urging that Jews become informants and snitches on their fellow Jews suspected of being unvaccinated and turn them in to the authorities. I never would have believed that Soviet style Stalinism would be trumpeted as virtuous by Orthodox Jewish Rabbis in America,but Alas.

  4. Babies, the silent victims of vaxxers – grandmothers who blindly accepted the vaccination shots for their children, causing their daughters to lose their immunity for life! If these mothers would have been vaccinated as kids and gotten the measles when meant to be gotten- AS A CHILD, she would have been immune for life AND SO WOULD HER NEWBORN BABIES until about the age of 2.

  5. The preganant woman who came down with the measles WAS VACCINATED!! should sue the pharmaceutical company and her doctor who gave her the MMR shot, but she came down with the measles anyhow. NOthing to do with others who did not get the MMR shot. The person who did not get the MMR shot did not cause her to get the measles.

  6. Why are they giving MMR vaccine to babies under twelve months old when the manufacturer’s product insert says that the rubella and mumps part of vaccine has not been tested for safety or efficacy in children under 12 months?

    Why did the vaccine manufacturers complain to the govt in the 1980s that they wanted to stop making vaccines because they could not handle all the lawsuits coming to them from parents who felt their children were harmed (or killed) by the vaccines? If there is only one in a million chance for vaccine damage, why could the manufacturers not have handled that? Instead the govt passed a law in 1986 that the vaccine companies cannot be sued anymore, and they set up a govt vaccine compensation program instead. If vaccines are so safe, why has this govt program paid out $4 billion dollars to families who brought very credible medical evidence that showed their children were damaged or died from vaccines? Tthe most each family can get is $250,000.) They do not give out this money easily.

    Why did the CDC stop communicating with the Harvard project that was hired by the CDC to help automate VAERS reports? (VAERS is a govt database that compiles adverse reactions to vaccines.) Is it because they did not like the results that the Harvard project was showing?

    It may also be an “unforgivable sin” to not realize that there are some children who do get harmed from vaccines. Neurologist Dr. John Poling, daughter of Hannah Poling, who won a case against the govt whereby medical evidence showed that Hannah’s autism was triggered by a vaccine, says that pediatricians need to develop safe vaccine schedules for each child. Vaccines cannot be “one-size-fits-all.” To hear more from Dr. Poling please see this interview:

  7. To georgeg, The MMR manufacturer’s insert says not to get pregnant for THREE MONTHS after getting the vaccine.

  8. Did you know that former director of the National Institutes of Health Bernardine Healy made this statement during an interview, “I think that the government or certain public health officials in the government have been too quick to dismiss the hypothesis as irrational the concerns of these families without studying the population that got sick. I haven’t seen major studies that focus on 300 kids who got autistic symptoms within a period of a few weeks of the vaccine. I think that the public health officials have been to quick to dismiss the hypothesis as irrational without sufficient studies of causation. I think that they have been too quick to dismiss studies in the animal laboratory, either in mice, in primates that do show some concern with regard to certain vaccines and also to the mercury preservative in vaccines.”

    You can read more on this interview at:

    And yes, they took out mercury from most (but not all) vaccines, but there are many other ingredients, including aluminum, that have not been tested for safety.

    Can the author of this article please ask all the doctors that he knows to post on this website any medical study that has studied 1. the safety of injecting aluminum into babies starting from day one, and 2. any medical study that has studied the current CDC schedule for safety. And while we are on the topic, 3. any medical study that shows the CDC is acting responsibly when they encourage pregnant women to get vaccines even though the manufacturers themselves say that their products have not been tested on pregnant women. And all of us from the previous generation knew that we were NOT ALLOWED to get vaccines when we were pregnant.

    • By the time a child enters school, he or she will have received as many as 46 vaccinations, a massive assault
      on the developing immune system and brain. There are many scientific papers written by eminent neurologists and physicians such as Dr. Anna Strunecka and Dr. Russel Blaylock proving the link between vaccines and autism — caused mostly by the aluminum adjuvant in vaccines administered one-month apart, repeatedly activating the immune system. The exact mechanism by which aluminum injected into the muscle is transferred to the brain has been demonstrated by researchers at the University of Paris.In addition, Dr. Chris Shaw and Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic of the neuroscience program at University of British Columbia proved that aluminum injected in mice in vaccine-relevant doses causes long-term neurological abnormalities resembling autism. All the pieces of the puzzle have been put in place — yet the medical establishment continues to ignore the evidence and ruin the lives of millions of children and their families. The incidence of autism has now reached 1 in 48 male children. It should be obvious to anyone with a brain in their head that the sudden and exponential increase in autism rates among children can only be linked to environmental factors such as the neurotoxins found in vaccines. The same medical establishment touting the current safety of vaccines approved the use of mercury as an adjuvant for decades, as well, until it was banned from childhood vaccines.

      • Having read through the comments which are mostly of anti-vaxxers, here is my conclusion: when you come after 120, or already in this world, knowing you have caused your neighbor to miscarry, your other neighbor to have a deaf baby, and an immunocompromised cancer patient to die, there will be that one 95-year-old Czech doctor and two organic eating websites you relied on to say vaccines are bad. Abandoning Harvard, Mount Sinai, CDC, and every other medical institution’s knowledge for killing your neighbors because you couldn’t be bothered and didn’t want to vaccinate. I guess when God said Lo Sirtzach it was not important enough for the anti-vaxxers to listen. Not even to be choshesh for that chance.

        • And you will certainly be judged for being motzai shem ra for your completely ignorant and judgemental attacks on your fellow Jews who possess far more knowledge on the subject from a host of reliable medical sources then you will ever know or admit to.

          • It’s a deal. I am at the risk of saying something some yoga health guru may prove to be wrong and you may be guilty of murdering babies and cancer patients. Choose your risk.

  9. As you write “For anyone to be so callous as to endanger the lives of babies, to destroy viable pregnancies, to maim and injure innocent children, to inflict developmental disabilities on children who should have had every opportunity in the world open to them, is not “another side of the argument”, it is an unforgivable sin.”

    That is exactly why many parents do not want to vaccinate their children, because the vaccines themselves can cause all of the above.

  10. r poupko, if a healthy person is not vaccinated, how do you suggest that they kill others? a healthy person cannot cause anyone else to get sick. And I think you don’t really believe what you wrote, or maybe it was an actual lie, where you write in the original article “Intentions do not matter here.” The pregnant woman who got sick and anyone else who is not vaccinated, even if they have medical reasons, are also according to you killing others. Intentions do not matter. If someone is unvaccinated, they are unvaccinated. intensions do not matter. So anyone who is unvaccinated is a killer according to you.


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