Opinion: Require Meshulachim To Get Vaccinated | Avi Gutfreund

Yet again, Lakewood has been struck by an outbreak of measles. There are multiple confirmed cases.

It’s tiring to constantly urge people to get themselves and their children vaccinated. There comes a point when everyone has heard what the medical experts have to say, and still a small group will believe they know better. I think that with the attention that vaccines and their importance have received in the past several months, we have probably reached that mark already.

But there are those, specifically Israelis, that visit Lakewood that are not necessarily as knowledgeable as we are regarding vaccines. In several instances, the measles were carried and spread by an unvaccinated meshulach. While these mesulachim often have heartbreaking stories to tell, and they should be permitted to go door to door to raise funds for their causes, I believe it to be of extreme importance that they come vaccinated.

There are perhaps few people that pose a greater risk of transmitting diseases than those that are unvaccinated and constantly changing locations, coming into contact with dozens, even hundreds of people each day.

Lakewood is not the only town in which outbreaks have been traced back to meshulachim. In Passaic, Monsey, Detroit, and other places, outbreaks have been linked to unvaccinated individuals moving around the town or city collecting money for their respective causes. This should be stopped as soon as possible.

The way to make sure that meshulachim knocking at your door are up-to-date on their vaccinations is to begin requiring that they show documentation proving they received their vaccines in order for them to be granted a te’uda. We already require that meshulachim go before a board to confirm that they are truly needy and should be given a document telling residents that their cause is a worthy one. Why not expand those requirements a bit? Getting vaccinated is not a big deal – many clinics will provide the vaccines for free. Showing documentation to a board proving that they have been vaccinated is not a hardship either, nor is it degrading – to work in nearly any medical setting you need to show such documentation as well.

With the return of the measles to Lakewood, it is time to institute some much-needed changes. Requiring meshulachim to get vaccinated before receiving a te’uda is a commonsense and fair first step.

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  1. Nope sorry. I live in Israel and everyone is just as educated. If anything the Americans in Israel are less likely to vaccinate from my experience

  2. Most Israelis that I know are vaccinated. We have Well Baby Clinics in every neighborhood and school nurses vaccinate the school-aged children. So I think you are mistaken that most Israelis are less knowledgeable regarding the necessity for vaccines and it might be lashon hara to portray Israelis as ignorant. That said, your point remains true that if a meshulach is an anti-vaxxer or for whatever reason, is not vaccinated, he is a greater public menace. If he’s contagious, he can spread disease far and wide as he is constantly on the go from one location to the next including many public places such as shuls and simcha halls. Therefore, it does make sense that if he needs local haskama in order to collect, he should have to prove that he is vaccinated.

  3. This is not the proper way. This is Lakewood mentality to have a “vaad” and be controlling. It’s enough there is the hamlatzah thing that is controversial, but to tell people what to do is another level. It’s time for people to realize that you are not in charge of someone else, you don’t like it; to bad. Don’t start arguing that he’s affecting me ….. Because it’s ad ein soif, it will never end.

  4. And how do you know those people were not vaccinated?
    Is there some kind of evidence supporting your claim?
    Or you just assume that if person has measles he must be one of those “crazy” “ uneducated “ antivaxers

    What is your knowledge in vaccination?

  5. I don’t know if I have an opinion about this but one thing I do know is, that you see so clearly from here that Hashem runs the world. Schools in Lakewood and out of town sent out innocent unvaccinated children who were never exposed to measles for months. Back in November the children were not spreading measles to ppl. who didn’t want to catch it. (yes, there were many many ppl. who went to catch it on purpose) and yet here comes a meshulach, goes to a few shuls and exposes hundreds and hundreds of unsuspecting ppl. It’s 100% wrong to go out in public if you have measles. But I think Hashem is sending a message. We think we can control ppl. from catching measles by forcing parents to vaccinate their children and Hashem sent us measles instead from an adult that we have no control over.
    May Hashem protect us all and keep us healthy

    • Finally someone opened their eyes and ears to hear the message. Thank you. Bottom line, Hashem has control, and we do not. Nor does Dr. Offit, or any other dr.

  6. Absolutely No letter with records. They go house to house and can transmit like crazy. Not only Israeli even local fundraisers must be vaccinated

  7. “chaim says”
    I know for certain that one of them thought he had measles as a child. He’s very pro vaccine.Everyone in the community forgave him because it was an innocent mistake but they can’t forgive the antivaxers who know for certain that they are not immune (and therefore more careful about exposure) but never made anyone sick in their life.

  8. I had my mmr vaccine, but I think its a choice that all of Klal Yisroel should make for themselves.

    If 99 out of 100 are vaccinated are they not then protected from the illness if its carried by the 1 out of 100 who isn’t?

    If the 99 out of 100 become sick does that not prove the vaccine is not effective?

    If the vaccine is not effective, then why trouble to get it at all?

    Freedom of choice makes us Americans and while frum people will always be proud of who we are, we have to be American too.

  9. I agree with “mother” above. Hashem is running the world. I heard a rabbi say that if your hishtadlus is to vaccinate your children, then go ahead and do it. If others are afraid to vaccinate their children because of adverse effects they have experienced – or heard about in others – then that is their hishtadlus. Hashem is the One who gives out the measles, not a meshulach.

    It is important to do your own research into this issue. Even people in high positions are not always aware of the facts. I was shocked to hear the Chairman of the Pediatrics Dept. of a major hospital in the New York area say at a conference that 32 ounces of baby formula has more aluminum than a vaccine. Does he not realize the difference between aluminum that is digested and goes out the body vs. aluminum that is injected and stays in the body – migrating to different organs including the brain as shown by studies in mice? If someone on such a high level does not know this, then it is no surprise that laymen are not aware of this. (For more information on how worldwide scientist are alarmed about aluminum adjuvants in vaccines, read the article online “A lone FDA scientist could end the autism epidemic.”

    There are many books out there that you can read as well on the entire vaccine issue. Pharma companies and others are doing what they can to ban these books but they are still for sale online and elsewhere. I recommend for starters Dr. Richard Moskowitz’s book “Vaccines – a reappraisal” but there are many other books written by reputable doctors and scientists that you can read. There are many doctors and nurses who slowly are coming to the realization that the CDC one-size-fits-all vaccines schedule may not be the safest idea for every child, as some children are more vulnerable to vaccine injuries than others (e.g., those with mitochondrial disorders).

    • Hashem still retains control. I vaccinated my children. I tested their titers during the earlier outbreak, to make sure they were actually immune, because all the scare-talk could really make a person lose sleep at night, worrying that they or their loved ones will catch measles.
      Guess what? Some were immune, some weren’t. I can’t imagine those that weren’t immune just “happened” to be from the (un)lucky 3/100 that don’t get immunity from the vaccine.
      This prompted me to research this. Apparently the studies done by the producers of the vaccine that say it is so effective that it provides immunity for 97/100 vaccinated individuals was very flawed.
      So the effectiveness is questionable, as is the safety….
      No proof of anything, but there are valid questions.

  10. I don’t believe there are any vaccination disaster stories involving adults, so why not make it a requirement?
    we are helping them, so unless we are making an unreasonable request, they should have to show tomechai tzedakah proof of vaccination.

    • Contrary to popular belief, the science is not settled when it comes to the safety of vaccine ingredients because they have not been individually studied for safety in children or adults.

      MMR vaccine’s ingredients (including residual trace amounts of material used in the manufacturing process and then (mostly) removed) include: chick embryo cell culture, WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts, vitamins, amino acids, fetal bovine(cow) serum, sucrose, glutamate, recombinant human albumin, neomycin, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, sodium phosphate, sodium chloride.

      Therefore no one can say for sure one way or the other whether a meshulach or anyone else who gets this vaccine or any other vaccine is being subject to harm then or in the future. (What is known is that in the past 12 years only one person has died from the measles in the USA.)

    • And what about your cleaning lady? Did you check her papers yet? Or since she is probably undocumented & there is no papers to check, it will all be OK… we can survive without undocumented cleaning ladies… Shomer Pisoim Hashem…

      You know what I mean.

  11. Wouldn’t it be amazing if all viruses and bacteria came with tracking devices so we could see which neighbor gave us the flu and which friend shared his strep? Then we could be busy all day pointing fingers at everyone and panicking about every measly germ. What fun!

  12. The doctor actually told him to lay low and not go around because he wasn’t feeling well. (He didn’t listen to medical advice). and he infected lots of ppl. Vaccinated adults. so the vaccine obviously is not as effective as they claim. (or at least immunity wears off). whereas those that are unvaccinated know very well that they can be contagious if they were exposed and are therefore careful to stay home and not spread it further.

  13. and once we are at it, lets make sure they are vaccinated against cholera, ebola, and malaria. hey, you never know where this guys traveled to…

  14. Good question. While adults don’t become autistic from vaccines, there are studies that show it contributes to Alzheimer’s etc. CH”V.

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