Brooklyn Hasidic Jewish community, where authorities ordered mandatory vaccination, claims vaccines have ‘monkey, rat and pig DNA’.
Authorities in New York asked residents of an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood to be vaccinated against measles, but the question remains as to how to enforce the order.
Among Jews in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, where a measles outbreak was declared an emergency, a publication is circulating that encourages the Orthodox community not to get vaccinated, contrary to scientific criteria and sanitary legality, alerting that vaccines carry “monkey, rat and pig DNA”.
In the Vaccine Safety Manual, a magazine for parents who want to raise healthy children, there are false warnings that vaccines cause autism and contain aborted human fetal cells, according to The New York Times. “We believe there is no greater public health threat than vaccines” the publication concludes, contradicting the scientific consensus that vaccines are generally safe and highly effective.
The manual, created by a group called Parents Educating and Advocating for Children’s Health (PEACH), targets Orthodox Jews, whose expanding communities are at the epicenter of one of the largest measles outbreaks in the United States in decades.
The PEACH manual, with letters signed by rabbis, has become one of the main vehicles for disinformation among ultra-orthodox groups.
Its message is shared on hotlines and in group text messages. The vaccines contain monkey, rat and pig DNA, as well as cow serum blood, all of which is prohibited for consumption under kosher dietary law,” Moishe Kahan, contributing editor of PEACH magazine, said in an e-mail quoted by The New York Times.
The first step against the worst measles outbreak in the city since 1991 will be to ask residents where they’ve been and with whom they’ve come into contact.
From there, authorities will ask for the information of those contacts to interview them and try to persuade them to get vaccinated if they have not already done so and if they are not immune to the disease.
The municipality has offered to help people get vaccinated, but has also warned that it will charge fines of $1,000 to anyone who refuses. “Our goal is not to fine anyone,” said Mayor Bill of Blasio. “Our goal is to get people vaccinated, but at the same time we’re trying to convince people that this is an urgent issue,” he added.
The vaccination order includes a public health emergency that experts say has not been declared in the United States in recent times, in which the population is asked to be vaccinated or face fines.
The situation has provoked ambivalent reactions in the affected Brooklyn neighborhood and alarms have sounded among civil liberties groups. De Blasio acknowledged that this is an unusual situation, but stressed that it is due to the sheer magnitude of the crisis.
Authorities have detected about 285 cases of measles in New York compared to just 2 in all of 2017. It is part of a nationwide outbreak of 465 measles cases so far this year, the second highest number since the disease was declared eradicated in 2000.
The order covers four zip codes in Williamsburg, although there are some exceptions, such as infants under 6 months of age. The municipality estimates that there are about 1,600 children in that neighborhood who have not been immunized.
On Monday, the government ordered Orthodox Jewish schools in the area to exclude unvaccinated children at risk of closure.
The Yucatan Times
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