Eine jüdische Reaktion zur Impfungsskepsis

smallpox_vaccine

Austrian-German_Swiss_flags-tinyNicht zum ersten mal wird von einer kleinen Epidemie berichtet, die in einem orthodoxen Viertel irgendwo auf Erden ausgebrochen ist. So berichtet Tachles am 25. Jänner 2017:

Laut vorliegenden Berichten konzentrierte sich der Ausbruch der Masernerkrankung in Los Angeles County, Kalifornien, auf die orthodox-jüdische Gemeinde der Gegend. Rund zwanzig Personen sollen bei dem Ausbruch angesteckt worden sein, 18 von ihnen in Los Angeles County. 15 von ihnen kannten sich laut dem Gesundheitsdepartement des County entweder oder hatten eine «klare gesellschaftliche Verbindung», wie die «Los Angeles Times» berichtete. Keine der 18 Patienten konnte den Beweis für eine Impfung erbringen, wie Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser vom Gesundheitsdepartement erklärte. Die meisten der Infizierten waren in ihren 20er Jahren, doch gehörten laut Zeitungsberichten auch junge Kinder und ältere Erwachsene zu ihnen. Der Ausbruch trug sich sechs Monate, nachdem Kalifornien ein striktes Impfgesetz verabschiedet hatte, zu. – 2015 erschien eine Keuchhustenerkrankung in charedisch-orthodoxen Gemeinden von Williamsburg und Borough Park, Brooklyn.

Was, „Keine der 18 Patienten konnte den Beweis für eine Impfung erbringen“, wieso?! Anscheinend ist es so im Trend, Impfungen aus wissenschaftlich unbewiesenen Ängsten zu verweigern. Das ist in keinem Fall ein ausschließlich jüdisches Phänomen. Diese gefährliche Dummheit wurde eigentlich durch einen Artikel aus 1998 von Andrew Wakefield im britischen medizinischen Zeitschrift The Lancet ausgelöst. Später erwies sich der Artikel eher als Betrug und nicht als wissenschaftliche Studie.

In einer kurzen Geschichte der modernsten Anti-Impfung-Bewegung berichtet Slate:

since the late 1990s, MMR has been the focus of intense debate and fear, often with conspiratorial undertones. The trouble with MMR started in the United Kingdom. When the vaccine was introduced there, in 1988, it was an immediate success. In the first year, a million children were vaccinated. For the next ten years, uptake of the vaccine remained above 90 percent. Then, in 1998, a doctor called Andrew Wakefield, along with a team of colleagues, published a study that ignited controversy. In the paper, which was published by a highly respected medical journal, The Lancet, Wakefield and colleagues claimed to have found measles virus in the intestines of a handful of autistic children. The paper speculated that the MMR shot may have played a role in causing the children’s autism, but pointed out that the findings were not sufficient to prove the relationship. Regardless, Wakefield took the findings directly to the media. In a press conference held the day before the paper was published, and that many of the paper’s coauthors refused to attend, Wakefield claimed that the danger posed by MMR was so great that the vaccine ought to be immediately withdrawn, and individual measles, mumps, and rubella shots, given a year apart, ought to be used instead.

Wie gesagt basierte der Artikel auf einem Betrug, wie Slate weiter berichtet:

In 2004 it emerged that the entire MMR-autism debate was built on a lie. Investigative journalist Brian Deer uncovered evidence that, before beginning his research, Wakefield had been involved in a patent application for an allegedly safer alternative to the combined MMR vaccine. He had also received a payment in the region of half a million pounds from a personal-injury law firm to conduct the research, and the same law firm had referred parents who believed their children to be vaccine-damaged to Wakefield so he could use the children in his research. But failing to declare a conflict of interest was the least of Wakefield’s wrongdoing. Deer discovered that the study, which involved conducting invasive medical procedures on developmentally challenged children, had not been granted ethical approval. Finally it emerged that Wakefield may have fudged elements of the children’s medical histories to fit his MMR-autism theory, and a co-worker suggested that Wakefield had knowingly reported incorrect test results. Ultimately the paper was retracted, and Wakefield’s license to practice medicine in the United Kingdom was withdrawn.

Dennoch gibt es eine erhebliche Zahl Eltern, die seither lieber auf Impfungen verzichten. So berichtete die BBC in 2015:

Measles infections there are at their highest since the disease was supposedly eradicated. The reason for this is that the number of people vaccinated against measles has been falling.
More and more parents have been refusing to immunise their children. The influence of a loose group of fringe campaigners against immunisation – “anti-vaxxers”, as they’re known – has been spreading. And with it, disease.

In 2014 veröffentlichte die Los Angeles Times eine Grafik, in dem klar zu sehen ist, wie unbegreiflicherweise leicht verhinderbare Epidemien in den Vereinigten Staaten toben.
Dass nicht mehr Epidemien ausbrechen, verdanken wir der Herdenimmunität.

Es ist also keine jüdische Dummheit. Imfungsverweigerung ist ein solziales Phänomen, dass nicht sozioökonomisch beschränkt ist, sondern in Blasen gleich denkender Menschen entsteht. So trifft es auch auf ähnlichen Blasen in der jüdischen Gemeinschaft. Plötzlich entdeckt man, dass zum Beispiel 20 oder 30 Prozent der Schulkameraden nicht geimpft wurden. Sobald die Zahl Verweigerer größer als 5% ist, wird die Herdenimmunität geschwächt und kann jederzeit eine Epidemie ausbrechen.

Was sagt das jüdische Religionsgesetz dazu?

Rabbiner Yair Hoffman fasst einige Punkte zusammen, nachdem es eine religiöse Pflicht ist, sich und seine Kinder mit den gangbaren Impfungen zu schützen:

It is this author’s contention that vaccinations involve the fulfillment of a number of Torah mitzvos, aside from the basic mitzvah of v’nishmartem mentioned at the beginning of this article. We must also make sure that we not allow the greedy actions of others to adversely affect our health, the health of our children, and the fulfillment of our Torah obligations. We should also make our best efforts not to allow misinformation and fraud to affect crucial decisions in our lives.
Hashavas Aveidah. The verse in Parashas Ki Seitzei (Devarim 22:2) discusses the mitzvah of hashavas aveidah, returning a lost object, with the words, “V’hasheivoso lo,” “and you shall return it to him.” The Gemara in Sanhedrin (73a), however, includes within its understanding of these words the obligation of returning “his own life to him as well.” For example, if thieves are threatening to pounce upon him, there is an obligation of “V’hasheivoso lo.” In other words, this verse is the source for the mitzvah of saving someone’s life. It is highly probable that it is to this general mitzvah that the Shulchan Aruch refers in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 325. This is certainly the case with vaccinations, because vaccinations save lives.
‘Thy Brother’s Blood.’ There is a negative mitzvah of not standing idly by your brother’s blood— “Lo sa’amod al dam rei’echa” (Vayikra 19:16). This is mentioned in Shulchan Aruch (C.M. 426:1) and in the Rambam. When people get sick and chance death because of our inaction, we are violating the commandment of “Lo sa’amod al dam rei’echa.”
‘Lo Suchal L’hisalem.’ There is yet another negative commandment associated with the positive commandment of hashavas aveidah, and that is the verse in Devarim (22:3), “You cannot shut your eyes to it.” This verse comes directly after the mitzvah of hashavas aveidah. The Netziv, Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehudah Berlin, in his HeEmek She’eilah, refers to this mitzvah as well.
‘V’chai Achicha Imach.’ The She’iltos (She’ilta #37), based upon the Gemara in Bava Metzia 62a, understands the words in Vayikra (25:36), “v’chai achicha imach,” “and your brother shall live with you,” to indicate an obligation to save others with you. The Netziv in his HeEmek She’eilah understands it as a full-fledged obligation according to all opinions. He writes that one must exert every effort to save his friend’s life, until it becomes a matter of pikuach nefesh for himself. The Netziv’s position would certainly advocate that vaccinations are obligatory, even if it involves a slight danger—which in modern times has been virtually eliminated.
‘V’ahavta L’rei’acha Kamocha.’ The Ramban, in Toras HaAdam Sha’ar HaSakanah (pp. 42–43), understands the verse of “And love thy neighbor as yourself” as a directive to save our peers from medical danger as well. We thus have a total of six Torah mitzvos involved in vaccinating our children.
Is It Obligatory?
It seems that in a situation where there is concern for an epidemic, poskim have ruled that vaccination is obligatory. (See Minchas Tzvi, siman 9, and Rabbi Eliezer Yehudah Waldenberg, zt’l, in Tzitz Eliezer, and Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein, shlita). How effective is the vaccine? With two shots, the efficacy rate for the MMR vaccine reaches 97%.

Die Gefahren der Impfungen wurden übertrieben und basieren teils auf mittlerweile nachgewiesene Lügen. Es ist sowohl medizinisch als auch religiös wichtig, dass wir uns und anderen vor vermeidlichen und potentiell gefährlichen Krankheiten schützen. Wer noch nicht geimpft wurde lassesich dringend von seinem Arzt beraten. In Wien kann man sich sogar bei einer Impfzentrale der Stadt Wien beraten lassen: https://www.wien.gv.at/impfen/beratung/. Dazu wünscht man sich im Jiddischen: Zim Gesind (zur Gesundheit).

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