Opinion: Camps Should Ban Unvaccinated Kids l Baruch Rivlin

Dr. Rich Roberts, one of Lakewood’s premier askanim, recently compiled a 24-page brochure containing letters from gedolim calling for people to vaccinate. Dr. Roberts made a staggering 192,000 copies of his brochure, with the intent of disseminating them to the masses, to educate those who have distorted versions of what gedolei Yisroel have been urging for years. Dr. Roberts is to be commended for his selfless action which cost thousands of dollars, done for the sole reason of making a positive difference in the Jewish community.

But there is something that every parent can do to help mitigate the crisis of unvaccinated children causing a comeback of various illnesses which were considered extinct just a few years ago. I believe that parents should urge the directors of the summer camps that their children will attend to bar any unvaccinated child from attending. Yes, this may be difficult for the child, but the blame lies at the feet of his or her parents.

It has been shown in literally dozens of studies that vaccines are safe. Those that continue to espouse pseudoscientific claims of it’s significant danger to children are living in an alternate reality, as has been proven over and over again. Unfortunately, anti-vaxxers are living in a cult-like environment, receiving and relying upon encouragement from one another to continue propagating their ridiculous beliefs.

As such, the only way to get through to anti-vaxxers is by making it impossible for them to ignore the consequences of their actions. This can be done in various ways, including not allowing their unvaccinated children into schools. The problem with that is that regardless of the parents beliefs, every child is deserving of an education, making the decision to bar them from attending school a thorny and difficult ethical dilemma. Summer camps do not pose such ethical issues.

In New York, where many of the more than 900 confirmed cases of measles were reported from, many camps are requiring parents to show proof that their child had received vaccination against the measles. They are right to do that. A parent’s right not to vaccinate their child is subordinate to our right to protect thousands of children attending summer camp. Lakewood camps should follow in their steps.

The directors of camps should make it clear to every parent that an unvaccinated child is persona non grata at their camp and may not attend their daily activities or partake in any camp trips. It’s rough, it’s harsh – I know. But I believe it would help make significant headway in the battle to stamp out the measles and other previously beaten illnesses yet again.

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  1. Stop. Just stop the opinions, facts and research abt vaccines and anti vaxxers. I think I speak for many when I say that it’s gone too far and is overkilled. Just stop.

  2. There are no newborns in camp and immunocompromised kids should not be in camp either what with all the strep, colds and sniffles going around. What are you so worried about?

    • Many immunosuppressed children are perfectly capable of recovering from typical strep and colds. Measles, on the other hand, would be life-threatening. My child is not able to go out in public, only because of the measles outbreak and not because of common sicknesses. Please do not let your ignorance add to our pain by negating the effects this outbreak has had on our families.

      • I feel terrible for you and your kid,it must be a nightmare for you to be worried about the roughly 96% of the population who are vaccinated and having their vaccines shed for up to 6 weeks after getting vaccinated,making them contagious and potentially very dangerous for the elderly,newborns and people with a weak immune system.Im sure you spend no time being concerned with such a small percentage of people who arent vaccinated and in general are much healthier.
        Im sure you do! Right!?

        • You obviously know nothing about immunosuppression or vaccine shedding. The chances of my child coming down with measles from someone else’s vaccine are infinitesmal to none. Again, there are different levels of immunosuppression. Not everyone is restricted from being exposed to those who have live vaccines, even if they can’t receive the vaccine themselves. There are medical facts and statistics that you obviously haven’t studied. You can try to allay your conscience all you want and think that your actions have not had an effect on other people’s lives, but you are 100% wrong. If you are going to make selfish decisions in favor of what you believe is your child’s health, do not minimize the effect it has on others.

  3. So sad that you keep on perpetuating this myth that measles is deadly and that unvaccinated kids are dangerous. It’s nice to have someone to blame, isn’t it?1000s of cases of mumps are going around the country, yet you don’t hear a word about it because it is occuring in fully vaccinated populations and it is not among jews. No scapegoat, not newsworthy.

  4. @SoS
    Please, wake up from your delusion and Stop kvetching that measles being deadly is a myth.

    It’s a very real serious danger to many, most of all immune suppressed people like my child.

    **Keeping unvaccinated children away from others is to protect the vulnerable, not the vaccinated.**

    Please, Wake up and smell the coffee.

  5. Last night at Ateres Chynka there was an event about vaccine education. I have a link to a video of this event. If anyone is interested in hearing what was said, I would be glad to share the link. Contact lakewoodscoop. They will know how to reach me.

    If you believe that vaccines are safe, then you can hear what others are saying about the topic so you know where others are coming from. If you have mixed feelings, you can hear what the speakers said and do further research if you want to.

    Del Bigtree was one of the speakers. Every time he speaks, including this time, he shows you the FDA, CDC, vaccine manufacturers’ own documents to back up everything he says.

  6. When will this outrageous discrimination end?? Sinas chinam is more dangerous that the measles. And by the way, there has been over 700 reported cases of measles in the US and no one died. So enough with the fake news that measles is “deadly”.

  7. cdc.gov/mumps/outbreaks.html – over 1000 cases in the past 4.5 months, 9200 cases in the 1.5 year span from January 2016 – June 2017.

  8. I don’t think more vaccines would have helped. Merck is currently being sued by the govt for possible fraud in the efficacy of the mumps part of their vaccine. Do a search for “United States of America v. Merck & Co”.

    It makes you think twice about how much trust we should put into Merck (they were also sued for their Vioxx product and lost the case).

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