Tel Aviv court orders mother to vaccinate her children

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Tel Aviv Family Court judge has ordered a woman to vaccinate her two children within 14 days, saying her reasons against vaccinating were “general, vague and not backed by evidence.”

The decision was in response to a lawsuit filed by the father of the children, Haaretz reported. The man and woman are not married to each other. They did sign a parenting and in that agreement the mother commits to making sure the children get all relevant health check-ups and the vaccines recommended by the Health Ministry.

The children, ages 7 and 4, have not been vaccinated against measles and some other childhood diseases.

The mother argued that the children were sensitive to the vaccines and that past vaccinations led to side effects such as included convulsions, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, breathing problems and rashes. There was no medical documentation to back up the post-vaccination reactions. The older child also has a minor kidney problem.

The mother presented a recommendation from a doctor that the children do not receive vaccinations; however, the father presented evidence that the doctor, who is not the children’s regular physician and is not affiliated with one of Israel’s HMOs, had never actually examined the children, according to Haaretz.

“Measles is a very dangerous illness and there has recently been an increase in its incidence, therefore, to for the minors’ benefit, health and safety, there is no choice but to order them vaccinated,” the judge wrote in her decision.