Dr. Kasriel (Rich) Roberts Gives a Lesson in Life How to reply to pressure from anti-vaxxers

There are many lessons in life that I have learned in business that apply to other areas of life too. Here is one of the most important lessons:

When dealing with wild or irresponsible people, PUT IT IN WRITING.

Email is the best mode to do this. It leave an electronic trail that stays in servers for years and can be retrieved by law enforcement and trial attorneys.

People who will do wild things verbally usually will not do so when there will be a documentation trail. People who do wild or dishonest things do not want to be held accountable for them. The exception is the most psychiatrically deranged or mentally deficient people who don’t understand the exposure of recording their actions by email.

For example, I was contacted by a school nurse who wanted to send an unvaccinated student home because another unvaccinated child attended school with mumps. She was pressured by several people in Lakewood to keep the unvaccinated uninfected child in school with the contagious child. When she resisted, she received a call from someone at a NJ state public health office telling her to keep the child in school. She does not know the name of the person who called her. She should have asked the person for his name and email address and sent the following email: “Dear X, This email is to confirm that you have told me to allow an unvaccinated uninfected child to remain in school while another unvaccinated child with mumps is in school. Please email back to me that this is correct.” When you do things like this by email, most people doing wrong things will not reply. When they realize that you document things by email then they will tend to leave you alone because they don’t want to held accountable for their actions. Keeping your own notes is not sufficient. Email provides proof that you notified them that you are documenting their actions and it gives them a chance to correct the record.

In comments on the internet, people can say anything that they want to and they believe that there won’t be any accountability. Publications by anti-vaxxers that have been sent to the frum community have no return address or use websites with no identification of who is sponsoring it. But if anyone tells you to not vaccinate then have them send it by email to you regardless of who they are. If they won’t own their actions, and be susceptible to law enforcement and litigation by malpractice and other liability attorneys, then that should inform you of their illegitimacy on this topic. Do not accept any excuse whatsoever from anyone for their failure to record their actions or instructions in an electronic documentation trail.

Regarding the one Lakewood physician who provides most of the medical exemption notes to enable students to avoid vaccinations, please keep electronic copies of those notes. This physician might think that he is crafty in claiming medical justifications to not vaccinate but when the pattern or concentration of those notes are available outside of his office, and someone sues him for the injury or death that resulted from his encouraging people to not vaccinate against a highly preventable disease, then his day of economic and legal reckoning will occur.

Lastly, the Centers for Disease Control puts in writing the most up-to-date medical scientific knowledge and recommendations for infectious diseases, infection outbreaks, and other diseases that affect the U.S. population. You can go to www.cdc.gov and search “vaccines” to get REAL information about vaccines that is based on truth and facts.

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    • He would be right if the debate was about what the current law is.

      Of course they don’t want to be susceptible to law enforcement and litigation by malpractice and other liability attorneys. Aren’t they debating things that are taken as givens that may have set certain laws?

  1. Thanks RRR for fighting the good fight.
    We need to put a stop to this insanity once and for all before everybody gets infected by this hoax craze.
    I’m glad you took up this cause.
    Hatzlacha rabba.

  2. Yes Dr. Roberts, the principles put fourth are sound and logical. You are saying all this because you believe the anti vaxxers peddle on illogical irrational thinking and in complete ambiguity. This is certainly true for some of them. There are other anti vaxxers however that have sound reasoning and don’t shroud themselves in anonymity.
    I reveal this information since your position stems from A. Your education and the professionals you surround yourself with. And B. Your exposure to this strange material from anti vaxxers that you referenced to, and horror stories told to you. While I value your education and knowledge immensely, debate is commonly accepted and expected, and I believe there is a whole camp of people with reason and rational amongst the anti vaxxers that have not crossed passed with you yet. They do exist! Please make a reasonable effort to find them in your quest researching this topic, and not assume they are all represented through this fraudulent and vauge material that you previously referenced.

  3. Every parent has to make their own decisions for their own families.
    No one has the right to bash anyone else for the descisions that they make. There are risks in taking vaccines and of course not taking vaccines has its own risks as well. Everyone do your own research and don’t let any doctor, school or friend bully you into anything that doesn’t feel right. wishing everyone a happy and healthy pesach!

    • You are correct when it comes to issues that affect only you and your family. When it comes to issues that affect the society around you, such as highly infectious and dangerous diseases, you couldn’t be more wrong. For such issues EVERYONE has a right to bash your decisions if they will adversely affect those around you.

  4. Dr Roberts,

    Good advice on how to deal with wild or irresponsible people. But how did you come to the conclusion that anti vaxers are wild or irresponsible?

    Can we agree to disagree. There is a public carnival being sponsored by you next week, you’ve banned the anti vaxers from the carnival. It is your right to do so. But now they are wild and irresponsible?

    I’m not making any argument for or against vaccination. I’m only saying that there’s allowed to be another side to the debate. Respect it! There is no way you can know that anti vax people as a group are wild and irresponsible. I can attest that many anti vaxers that I know personally are very very health conscience, caring and considerate individuals.

    • The sad thing is that Drs who are truly the most health-conscious group are now thought of as anti-health! We now (together with our wonderful frum press) CREATE health problems were there are none (ex. a toddler with many colds is now considered a child with a WEAK immune system) and then need to become “very very health conscious” and CREATE NATURAL solutions!!

  5. Btw. I authored many comments in defense of the anti vaxxers and I’m sure many wonder why I haven’t raised my hand with a name and phone number and an invatation to chat. Amongst many good reasons including; know with whom you choose to have a chalenge and weigh it wisely, is,.. suprise: I have all my children vaccinated! I was not forced, coerced, or bullied to do so. Rather this was our own personal decision. I have however had very enlightening conversations, reviewed alot of materiel and spoke to many people of reason who are on the anti side. I engage them with respect, with a curious disposition and an open ear. Their positions have meaning to me. I connect with there set of concerns and their belief system as to the root of many “unsolved” diseases and ailments that have been rendered mystery to the broader medical feild. I consider the positive value that many have earned by being active and involved in their own health and in the health of their children. I applaud those who who take a proactive role by first and foremost becoming educated so they can do the best they can in best taking care of their wellbeing(s). Society encourages total surrender to the system. Common sense sense calls for us to learn and make decisions utilizeng all our senses in understanding what is truly good for ourselves. The medical schooling system teaches the universal theories accepted by many, that may or may not have biasis, that do have chalenges, but are taught as being the supreme theory, for certain reasons, ie. the methods they test and reach their conclusions, and then discredit any other way of thinking testing or theory as falsehood, until it has passes the triple blind study placebo test+.
    Again, common sense teaches to be responsible for ourselves (btw so does the torah!).
    If somone will educate themselves and learn learn learn (I’m not talking about fear mongerers) then they are in a better position. Period.
    Many of the anti vaxxers have taken that route responsibly.

  6. @Live and let live: how are you letting live when your actions can potentially have fatal ramifications on immune deficient people (chemo, young babies, old people).

  7. For those who have been following, I am not sure whether you are aware how far this went. So from an objective point of view, this went from a polite request to a full blown machlokes. It has to stop.

  8. Dear Dr Roberts
    Thank you for butifull carnival you are making for years , my kids enjoying it every year , of course we will not attend this year as we not invited . I feel like you were doing such great thing that now soton needs to get involved and divide us , this only creates hatred , no one will change vaccinating or not because of this . If you don’t mind to create an email where people with bad expirences can reach out to you perhaps you can understand better that this in not coming from mishigasim it’s real stories that people had after taking shots , coincidence , may be but maybe not ?? Especially that it involves in bad reactions, hospitalization, some cases even deaths . I don’t feel like bringing this out on public forum is the correct way & if you convince us that vaccines are safe we will be the first on line to take them

  9. wow! this argument is so pointless as @Avraham said one person can ruin many others and just because its your right doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing

  10. It is pointless in trying to convince or even debate the uneducated, selfish and reckless group of anti-vaxers, instead ALL the Health providers of Lakewood should confront the Heads of ALL the major Yeshivos and Schools and encourage them to keep the required immunization policies in place.

    • they are not uneducated or selfish. They are doing what they beleive is best for their kids. They want to protect their family. NO one is telling you not to vaccinate your kids.

  11. Dr. Roberts,
    Thank you for taking this important stand and finally saying what needs to be said. I’m truly concerned however about the presence of the many adults at the carnival who have never received many important vaccines (since they were introduced in more recent years).
    Dr. Paul Offit noted in his recent conference call the equal importance of adults receiving the vaccines they missed out on, stating that they are endangering children around them equally as much as unvaccinated children. Therefore, will you please make it a requirement for all adult attendees of your carnival to receive all their vaccines according to the CDC recommendations?
    Thanks again for all you do for our community.

  12. Dear Dr. Roberts,
    Please don’t mix Chessed with politics or medicine, if even you rightfully believe that vaccines are critical for our community. There’s absolutely zero chance a child will contact a disease by attending your carnival. It’s in the closed quarters in school for long hours each day where this makes a difference.
    I appreciate the tremendous chesed you perform each chol hamoed for our town, but even more than that, the quiet & unassuming way you’ve done so in the past. Please continue to keep a low profile as you make us all feel comfortable.
    By the way I do vaccinate my children.

    • You can make the claim that there is a 0% chance of getting a vaccine-preventable disease by a carnival if you are an epidemiologist. Actually, these diseases are factually known to spread even in open areas. (in a school setting the risk is greater of course)

      While the mode of communication is great – it allows everyone to have an equal voice regardless of the background and knowledge of the subject that is being discussed!

      If you have a kashrus question that can cost you your entire set of Pesach dishes to be treif you wouldn’t consider anyone’s opinion……. Same here this is a question of extreme importance…….

  13. All you people who want this conversation to stop. U don’t have to read it no one is forcing you. It’s time that this issue is taken on. Shidduch crisis was taken on now this. Could be this is a break off of the shidduch crisis because can’t marry someone that wasn’t vaccinated

  14. Yes, maybe if you have a terrible experience with one kid getting shots, idk the whole story but maybe maybe that ONE kid shouldn’t get that shot anymore. Or maybe even he shouldn’t get any shots anymore. Im not well versed on the subject. I only do know one thing. One parent was against vaccinations. Didn’t give to any of her kids. Then 1 child was born, he had autism. She used that as her claim to be against vaccinations. But she didn’t give any vaccinations to any kids before or after that. So this child who unfortunately has autism is definitely not because of the vaccine, as she never got a vaccination in her life! I was exposed to one of her children numerous times, and i got the mumps when i was in my first trimester of pregnancy. That can cause a miscarriage. It caused me not to sleep for days! The health dept called me and asked 2 questions, was i immunized, and when i said yes, they asked if i had contact with someone who wasn’t immunized. They wanted to know the name of the family who wasn’t immunized, though i didn’t tell them.
    So just know, because 1 child 1 time had a reaction to one immunization, your withholding immunizations from the rest of your children, in addition to maybe your nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors and aunts dogs relatives, you are endangering those around you who do their hishtadlus to be healthy

    • YOu could never have caught the mumps from being exposed to someone who did not have the mumps. What are you talking about? And do you think that was the only person you were exposed to who was not immunized?

  15. Come to think of it, every public place has unvaccinated people. No Bronx Zoo, Fun Time America, or any other place.
    The only safe place this chol hamoed is the Roberts Carnival. Thanks for saving my sanity.

  16. Dear to common cense
    My father had a stroke just ours after taking flu shot first time in his life , he was only 59 , was healthy like an ox & top dr in hospital told us its very possibly was coursed by the mercury in the vaccine he received . Again this might be coincidence but might be not , but I am afraid now , please respect it & not force your opinion on others . My 2 year old end up in hospital with major allergic reaction after taking bunch of shots together & dr couldn’t even figure out which one he had reaction from .
    I look at it this now vaccine shot with side affects & who says I should put my kids to danger now vs possible harm later , I asked my Sheila and was told it’s ok . If you create a vaccines with out side affects I will be first one to give them .
    Also FYI all all my kids were vaccinated at young age but not anymore after the bad experience we had .

    • There definitely are people to whom vaccines are dangerous. But they are a small minority. Your father may have been one of them, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else is. Therefore, unless a doctor said so, there is no sane person who won’t vaccinate.

  17. Also you got mumps from non vaccinated child that didn’t have it himself at that time ? Don’t get it
    Also how do you know who gave you the mumps , dr Roberts said numerous times it’s not 100% at its very possible you got it from someone already vaccinated as well .
    Please stop this bias , ask your own Sheila & trust in Hashem, your hatred can hurt you not your neighbors child

  18. Am I the only person who thought that it was strange that a sick kid was in school? This town needs to vax because nobody knows how to stay home with there sick kids . Strep give antipotits send to school, feaver give Motrin send to school,flu give tamaflu with Motrin send to school. Measles,Mumps,Rebella just send your child to school. A PA in Lakewood said that non Jewish kids in Lakewood get sick less Because there parents keep them home when they are sick

  19. Dear Wolf , I don’t get your suggestion
    no dr will be able to tell you how your body will react to this vaccine unless you have a known allergy to some type of Ingridients & you only find out after , and after my father had stroke just hours after it was too late .

  20. On the other note I want to know who stole my UNVACINNATED HUNGARIAN CLEANING LADY on erev Pesach ? I bet you someone vaccinated & sencetive to others .

  21. “someone sued him for the injury or death that resulted // from him encouraging them not to vaccinate”.. Dr Roberts, if someone has injury or death that resulted from a vaccine, it is ILLEGAL to sue!! The drug manufacturers, doctors, and nurses who administered the vaccine, without explaining the negative possibilities, or without informed consent of the patient, have IMMUNITY (pun intended) to any lawsuit!! The one left alone to take care of the injured child is the parents.

    • Lies. There is a special vaccine court that already paid out over 3 billion dollars to real vaccine injuries. So yes, it’s true that the manufactures are immune (to a degree, they are not fully protected). But at the same time, a special vaccine court has been established.

  22. what is going on here? did the vaccines take away your ability to spell and use grammar? I can barely understand some of these comments.

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