The amount of children in the U.S. contracting the measles is on the rise and health officials are placing the blame on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. Although most states require mandatory vaccinations for school kids, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says parents can opt-out for “philosophic or religious beliefs.” That’s where the problems start:
“Outbreaks of measles most commonly occur in communities with pockets of persons who were unvaccinated because of philosophic or religious beliefs.”
According to WNYC, religious schools in the city take top honors for not vaccinating children. WNYC discovered 165 schools “where more than 10 percent of the students don’t have their shots.”
This puts certain communities at risk — two years ago, Brooklyn was a measles hotspot:
In 2013, 58 Jews in ultra-Orthodox communities in Brooklyn and some of the surrounding suburbs got measles, forming the largest measles cluster in recent years — until the current outbreak, which is occurring primarily on the West Coast.
That’s nearly the same amount of people infected with measles at Disneyland, ground zero for the latest outbreak.
“There is a skepticism about everything from global warming to vaccinating children,” said CUNY Sociology Professor Samuel Heilman about the prevailing beliefs amongst Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jews. “In many ways they see the scientific view as something that has been foisted upon them by the liberal political left.”
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(Image: Yale Rosen)