Despite a massive health campaign in New York calling on people to vaccinate their children, the measles outbreak continues to deteriorate here in New York and nationwide.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week that 880 new cases 24 countries were identified. Most of these cases are in New York, and now the total empire is over 725.
This is the largest number of infections for a quarter century and the problem shows no signs of a reduction in speed. In fact, if the anti-vaccine action last week in Rockland County is an indication, the rash of cases will continue to grow.
As chief executive of Chai Lifeline, the largest health support network in North America, I feel obliged to oppose such cavalry, irresponsible and dangerous attitudes about vaccines.
The fact is that numerous rigorous scientific studies have exposed the alleged vaccine-related harm. Leading doctors and medical experts have repeatedly and almost unanimously supported vaccination. Pseudo-scientific opposition continues only in the hotspots, conspiracy ribs.
There is also no religious case against vaccination. In the Jewish community, almost all rabbis, across the religious spectrum, have spoken out favorably and strongly encourage the vaccination of children, with many calling it a parent's duty. Fortunately, the vast majority of American Jews have followed this advice.
However, a highly contagious disease declared to be eliminated in 2000 in the United States by the CDC is now returning due to the actions or inaction of selecting several. These vaccine opponents claim that measles does not pose a serious threat. They say the consequences of the virus are minimal. Some parents go so far as to deliberately expose their children to the virus through "measles parties", with the mistaken belief that such exposure will create immunity.
This is not just total folly; it can be deadly. Morbilite is one of the most contagious diseases. The virus can still air in enclosed premises within two hours after someone has infected or sneezed. Up to 90% of people at risk will get measles unless they are immunized.
That is why I have to speak on behalf of those whose voices can not or do not. They belong to the most vulnerable in our community ̵
For them, measles is not just an unpleasant disease; can be fatal. In fact, studies show that for the immunocompromised population, the degree of complication and mortality caused by measles exposure are significantly higher and the recovery time is much longer. the number of people who can vaccinate their children to achieve "immunity to the flock" and to keep the entire population safe. The weakest and most sensitive among us rely on the flock or the community to vaccinate, so they can be protected from life-threatening illnesses. These children rely on us for their lives.
The Talmud teaches that "who saves life, he is considered to be saved all over the world." All of us, Jews and Gentiles, must pay attention to these words. Our future – the lives of our children – is at stake.
 Rabbi Simha Scholar is Chief Executive Officer of New York-based Chai Lifeline.