Officials: Anti-vaccine propaganda among reasons for quick spread of measles

Posted: Updated:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming anti-vaccine propaganda as one reason why the measles has spread so quickly in Orthodox communities in New York.

Orthodox Jewish mothers in Rockland County say they have been receiving anti-vaccine conference calls and pamphlets on why parents shouldn't vaccinate their children.

"These communities are being targeted with inaccurate and misleading information about vaccines," said Nancy Messonnier, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pro-vaccination groups say people have been disseminating anti-vaccine propaganda in Rockland for years, but members of the Orthodox community say the anti-vaccine pretense in Rockland is miniscule.

"Yes, these things happen. But the relevance of these things is so small compared to the size of this community and how much stronger it is coming from the other side, from the community, from government leaders," says Yossi Gestetner, an Orthodox Jewish spokesperson.

Those who trace anti-vaccine propaganda say the groups are super selective about their targets.

There are now 202 confirmed cases of the measles in the Rockland County. That accounts for approximately 35 percent of the 704 cases nationwide.

County officials say they are aware anti-vaccine propaganda has been spread in the area, but they say they don't know how or where exactly it's being disseminated.

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