Jewish Ohio School Will No Longer Be Accepting Religious Beliefs as an Excuse not to Vaccinate

Hebrew Academy of Cleveland notifies parents regarding change in vaccination exemption

The Hebrew Academy of Cleveland sent a notice to parents informing them that religion is no longer a reason for exclusion from vaccinations. The decision from the school comes after reports of increased measles and chickenpox cases in New York County and North Carolina respectively.

Recently, Asheville Waldorf School in North Carolina experienced a chickenpox outbreak, as 36 children fell ill from varicella zoster virus. It was the first time since the last two decades that the state suffered such a large number of chickenpox cases. According to the school, out of 152 students, only 42 of them received the vaccination for the disease.

Similarly, the nation also has to deal with the spread of measles, which has affected 220 people all over the country. The increase in measles outbreaks continues to rise for the past two years. Ocean County, New Jersey, is also reporting an increase in this disease, as the number of cases reached 15.

Cleveland Clinic’s medical practitioner, Dr. Baruch Fertel, commented about the situation. He believes there are no credible scientific sources which indicate parents should stop vaccinating their children.

Fertel stated the parents who don’t want to vaccinate their children don’t rely on religion for their beliefs. He added they tend to follow pop culture, as it is one of the biggest influences in the world.

Fertel believes several celebrities are responsible for starting this trend among parents. He commented that even politicians have come into the picture by talking about their opinions on vaccination in public.

According to the letter, the school authorities mentioned they understood every family has a different opinion regarding vaccination. Despite the differences, the educational institution strongly believes there is no room for accommodations when it comes to implementing their new protocol.

However, the school does provide one situation, where parents don’t have to vaccinate their children against various diseases. Only if a physician declares the student is unable to receive vaccination due to allergies will the school be okay with the exemption.

A portion of the letter sent by the school agrees with this statement, as the authorities understand some students cannot receive vaccinations due to medical reasons. Despite this situation, the educational institution believes it is in the best interest of every student to have the highest rates of immunization.


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