Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor,

Thank you for having the courage to print letters on both sides of the current vaccine controversy that is Rahcmana Litzlan tearing our community apart. I have grandchildren who are vaccinated, and grandchildren who are not, they all play together, and I love them all. I understand both sides and respect their decisions.

I find it sad and disturbing that those who are for universal mandatory vaccination, tend to put down those who feel it is the right of a parent to decide what is best for their child. Name calling, and anger, seem to replace calm, rational discussion.

I don’t know if Mr. Hofkorn is really interested, but for the sake of your other readers, I would like to address some of his remarks. The absurdity of his letter became apparent when he compared adverse vaccine reactions to the ‘shiduch crisis’ etc.

Who are the ones blindly following the crowd? It is much easier to just follow the crowd and vaccinate. Those parents who choose not to, have done a tremendous amount of research and soul searching and are willing to be different and often even looked down upon. They know that halacha does not require a person to put himself in a potential sakana for the sake of another. They are doing what they feel is best for their child.

The crowd is not always right, neither is the majority nor are the doctors. Millions of people used to think the world was flat, and I remember when doctors were removing the tonsils of almost all children and extolling the health benefits of smoking cigarettes.

I’m not sure what relevance the gemara about a rabid dog is, but the gemara was talking about treatment after the fact, not a recommendation for healthy people.

There are hundreds of serious studies citing some negative side effects of vaccines. To say that there are NO studies, just demonstrates a lack of knowledge. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program  compensates those who were injured by vaccines. They have to date paid out approximately four billion dollars to people who were able to prove that the vaccine caused damage. (I personally know someone whose child got sick and died due to a vaccine reaction.)

The government also allows people to opt out of vaccinations since “to achieve herd immunity for measles at least 90-95% of the population need to be vaccinated”. The frum community has a much higher compliance rate, and it is distressing to see the many children who are not allowed into school based on an irrational fear of the measles. Those who choose not to vaccinate, know, that if their child contracts the measles, which is a self-limiting childhood disease, it builds their immunity, and lowers their risk of developing certain cancers later in life.

To the person who wrote that his immunity was destroyed by chemotherapy, my heart goes out to you. May Hashem grant you a refuah sh’laima and keep you well, He is the ultimate healer and protector of us all.


Sincerely, Briena Rose

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