Friday, September 12, 2014

Vaccinations: Some Comments

Over at Rationalist Judaism, the discussion has come up regarding vaccination and R' Shmuel Kaminetsky's support for parents who choose not to vaccinate their children.  There is much to be said about this topic, but I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said.  The most comprehensive and rational treatment I've seen yet is R' Asher Bush's article in the Hakirah Journal here.  Another nice article, which gives a little bit of a historical perspective as well, is by Dr Eddie Reichman in Jewish Action here.

Frankly, I am not sure what to make of this trend or how to approach it.  It is clear that the objection to vaccination among the "non-vaccinators" comes from a deep-seated mistrust of modern medicine. This can be prevalent among Chareidim, which is probably mostly a result of the overall mistrust of science that is so ingrained in that society.  However, it is also common among many other groups, such as the growing number of liberal minded people who are mistrustful of the medical establishment, which they consider part of the corporate, profit-oriented elite.

When these two forces are allied, it is impossible to overcome the prejudices that are inevitably the key factor in forming opinions on this matter.  It is hard enough to convince a non-religious oponent of vaccination by presenting the medical evidence that contradicts his/her views.  They will always claim that it was cooked up by the pharmaceutical companies in order to make a profit selling vaccines.  However, it is exponentially more difficult when the belief in that conspiracy theory is compounded by a belief that all science is only relevant if it is approved by "Da'as Torah."

I honestly have no idea how to overcome this problem, and I am very afraid that it will be getting worse and worse in the coming years.  At least the readers of this blog should inform themselves about vaccinations, and a great start would be to read the articles I linked to in the beginning of this post.  I don't think I have much more to add. Shabbat Shalom.


  1. If I may add my 2 cents for the sake of would seem to me that if you put the same obviously large amount of work into seeing both (or all) sides of this issue as you do for your Torah study I think you would see that it isn't so p'shut or black and white. Your dismissal and the reasons given for the anti-vaccine group for example is way too facile in my opinion. For clarity's sake both "liberals" and "conservatives" pass on vaccines for example. There are many more examples like this. You also have the issue of parents who have already had one vaccine injured kid (as recognized by a court of law) and then to tell them to suck it up and vaccinate their newborn after that is not a tenable, balanced or a medically responsible response in my opinion. For the record, I am not anti-vaccine...I just strive to approach all things in balanced, intellectually honest way and in so doing I find that this issue becomes more complex and less polarized as it is today. Hatzlacha rabbah in your endeavors.

  2. you really have to do a lot of research to really get a handle on both sides of the issue. there is alot of misinformation out there. you have to take what the CDC claims and look at it. for example: they say there is no causal link between MMR and autism. what are they basing that on? which study? then look at the study and decide for yourself, does this make any sense?? This year in Italy 19 Seniors died shortly after receiving the FLU vaccine. they said "there is no causal link between the deaths and the vaccine" think about it carefully. does this make sense?? most SIDS cases happen within a short period after vaccination but of course, there is no causal link between vaccination and SIDS. look at the studies that show there is no causal link, don't just take their word for it. there was a study done in Australia in babies where they were put on a monitor while sleeping to check their breathing and at 2 months and 4 months of age right after they were vaccinated there was a decline in their breathing patterns. so instead of making the obvious connection that maybe the vaccinations cause SIDS, they say, well being that SIDS is most common at 2 and 4 months of age, some people think it might be related to vaccination but studies don't show a link. LOOK at the studies. you have to realize that the more vaccines are given the more money the pharmaceutical companies make. there are so many doctors that are realizing this and leaving the medical profession for the HEALTH profession, the promotion of preventative HEALTH of the human body.
    also LOOK at the ingredients of the vaccinations. i believe there are 13 vaccines that are made on ABORTED FETAL cells. which means that you are having foreign DNA injected into your body. other vaccines are made on MONKEY cells which means you are having MONKEY's DNA injected into your body. what happens when there is foreign DNA in the body? the body can attack it . . .causing . . . autoimmune disease.
    do you know that the SV 40 virus from Monkeys was found in peoples cancerous tumors. does that mean that the vaccines could be causing cancer ??? maybe. . . . there are no studies proving the safety of vaccinations at all. not one study proving safety. in fact according the LAW vaccines are considered "unavoidably unsafe" which is why you can not sue any pharma company for damages caused by vaccination. i have done hours and hours of research and there is still many more hours to still learn and pick each piece apart bit by bit. you don't have to be a medical doctor to look at this

  3. Here is a great discussion on the issue: