Vaccines and Judaism – anti-vaxxer activists misusing religion

Dear anti-vaccine activists,

Please stop misusing Judaism in your efforts to prevent authorities from fighting the measles outbreak that is putting little Jewish children in hospitals. You’re not standing up for Jews when you do that. You’re exploiting them in a fight against preventing diseases.

The vast majority of Jewish theologians support vaccines. In the specific context of this outbreak, they call on people to vaccinate.

Pork gelatin in injected vaccines does not make them non-Kosher. That has been addressed.

The reason a minority of people in the affected neighborhoods are still not vaccinating and not protecting their children in the middle of an outbreak is not religious. It’s antivaccine misinformation: they were misled into fearing vaccines more than measles.

By people making arguments, the anti-vaccine movement fed them. They’re acting out of fear, not religion.

And if you think efforts to stop the outbreak may interfere with the Passover, having your child with measles certainly does. Having your child hospitalized with measles or in ICU definitely does.

Again: you’re not standing for Jews when you are making it harder to protect little Jewish children from ending in the hospital with measles. You really don’t.

Please conduct your fight to bring back diseases without exploiting Jews.

vaccines and judaism
Photo by Blake Campbell on Unsplash

Note

This is an open letter that Professor Dorit Rubinstein Reiss posted on her Facebook page and asked that I publish here regarding vaccines and Judaism. It is an ongoing message where anti-vaccine activists are misusing symbols of the Holocaust and other parts of Jewish history to push their false narrative about vaccines. 

Dorit Rubinstein Reiss
This article is by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy and the law. 

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease.