Private school says religion not an excuse for not vaccinating children


HIALEAH, FL – AUGUST 08: Barbara Dale, a school nurse, prepares an immunization needle for a child August 8, 2007 in Hialeah, Florida. The free immunization is part of the Miami-Dade County Health Department’s program to help children heading back to school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A private school in Ohio says its no longer accepting religious beliefs as an excuse for refusing to have a child vaccinated.

In November, the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland sent a letter to parents, saying exceptions would only be made to children who are allergic to vaccines. 

“We recognize that there are families that have strong views on both sides of this issue,” the letter said. “However, this is not an area where we can accommodate any deviation from this new protocol.”

The move comes after measles and chickenpox outbreaks were reported in New York and North Carolina. 

“We see from these outbreaks that it can just spread like wildfire and cause harm,” Cleveland Clinic Dr. Baruch Fertel, whose children attend the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland, told CBS affiliate WOIO. “There’s really no good credible science for someone not to be vaccinated.”

The state of Ohio requires six vaccinations for students, including vaccines for polio, chickenpox and measles, depending on the grade. 

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