Durham, NC – Doctor, Measles Vaccine Developer, Urges Charedim To Vaccinate

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    DMS alumnus Sam Katz chaired the Department of Pediatrics at Duke from 1968 to 1990 and is still active, at age 82, in international health and vaccine policy affairs.(photo courtesy of Duke University)Durham, NC – A doctor who developed the measles vaccine recently urged members of ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities to vaccinate their children, noting that those communities who refused the 50-year-old vaccine were linked to a third of US measles cases last year.

    The Times of Israel (http://bit.ly/Jeneib) reports that Dr. Samuel Katz, the last surviving member of the team of researchers that developed the measles vaccine 50 years ago believes it is “ludicrous” that parents do not vaccinate their children against measles.

    The Center for Disease Control announced on December 5 that there were a total of 175 cases of measles in the United States in 2013, tripling of the annual average.

    Fifty-eight of those reported cases were among Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn’s Boro Park and Williamsburg neighborhoods. It was the largest outbreak of measles in the US since 1996. The CDC reported that the cause of the outbreak last spring in Hasidic Brooklyn was an unvaccinated 17-year-old who was infected with the disease after a trip to England.

    Among the Brooklyn cases, 21 percent were among children too young to have the MMR vaccine. Twenty-eight cases in Boro Park were members of three extended families who had refused to vaccinate their children.

    Every day, 430 children die of measles worldwide. There were an estimated 158,000 measles deaths in 2011.

    Dr. Katz Katz was the 2003 winner of the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal awarded by the Sabin Vaccine Institute for his contributions to vaccine discoveries during his career, and is currently the Chairman Emeritus of Pediatrics at Duke University.

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    12 COMMENTS

    1. Before all the Chasid bashers come out with hateful comments, realize that although he is correct it is a very tiny minority of Chasidim that refuse to vaccinate. Apparently some have large families. And it’s not because they are uneducated, they are simply what we call “oiber chachumim”…
      I’m waiting with baited breath for a civil conversation to ensue here.

    2. Ditto! As a Williamsburg resident, I urge the families, on behalf of my kids, and all kids, to please do whatever you can to keep us as safe as possible. No reason to go back in time.

    3. I am one of the so called crazies that dares question the way vaccines are given.
      While I am not against this vaccine per se, I am against the peanut farmer pseudo medical decisions to cram multiple vaccines into one administration and cram them in multi-dose vials.
      I doubt this Sam Katz is aware of how these decisions might impact some. Perhaps he is

      I just had the shingles vaccine and only after did I do some googling about this. It was less necessary that I take it than I thought, based on personal medical history. It is a live vaccine and might spread disease. It also really causes severe pain and malaise. By the way, googling for info is not always the way to get correct information but my info came from NIH and similar.

      • If you’ve ever had Chicken Pox you can get shingles, and many do. If you’ve ever seen anyone suffer from it you would do take a vaccine which is usually painless with minimal malaise to avoid months of suffering.

    4. How safe is the measles vaccine? The measles vaccine has a long history of causing serious adverse reactions. The pharmaceutical company responsible for producing the measles vaccine publishes an extensive list of ailments known to have occurred following the shot. Severe afflictions affecting nearly every body system — blood, lymphatic, digestive, cardiovascular, immune, nervous, respiratory, and sensory — have been linked to this “preventive” inoculation

    5. Vaccines are safe for most people. Only an idiot would pronounce them guaranteed safe for everybody. Public health experts, those in public management and those earning royalties on vaccines cling to terms like most and public safety. No insurance company covers damage from vaccines. The risk had to be assumed by Washington and yes, there have been proven cases and payments.

    6. The average life span in the shetl was around 35 due to infant mortality and death to common diseases. It’s over 75 in the USA. vaccines are not 100% and I don’t take flu shots, but for childhood diseases its the way to go.

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