500 US doctors sign letter urging Orthodox Jews to vaccinate
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500 US doctors sign letter urging Orthodox Jews to vaccinate

Physicians serving hundreds of North American Jewish communities urge parents to drop refusal to inoculate children against measles

A sign warns people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg on April 10, 2019 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)
A sign warns people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg on April 10, 2019 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

JTA — Some 500 doctors who serve Jewish communities across North America have signed on to a letter calling on all children and healthy adults to get vaccinated.

“We the undersigned doctors who faithfully serve the Orthodox Jewish communities of North America, strongly urge all members of our community to receive all recommended vaccinations,” the letter begins.

The letter is signed by doctors from New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and other states, as well as Toronto and Montreal — calling on individuals and Jewish communities to work together to “prevent harmful diseases from spreading.” ‎

“We are aware of the dangerous misinformation campaign being spread and reject any unproven unscientific statements that contradict all available current science-based studies on vaccinations,” the letter also says.

New York City Health Department poster in Yiddish saying “Stop! Do you have fever, rash cough, trouble breathing? Tell the staff immediately”. (NYC Dept of Health)

The letter is being featured in a mass information campaign to the Jewish community about vaccinating, Yeshiva World News reported.

The majority of Orthodox Jewish children are vaccinated, according to statistics issued by the New York State and New York City Health departments. There is no religious reason to not get vaccinated and prominent rabbis in New York have called on their followers to vaccinate their children.

The United States has confirmed 555 measles cases so far for 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday. That’s 50 percent higher than the total number recorded for 2018. The majority of the cases in 2018 were centered in New York City and its large ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

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