Vaccination is considered by many to be the most extraordinary advance in the history of medicine, having prevented an untold number of deaths since its discovery. How did the rabbis address the new technology of vaccination in the 18th century, when it was first developed? Was there opposition to vaccination then? Was anti-Semitism somehow related to the proliferation of vaccination? We will also discuss vaccination today; Can a Jew claim a religious exemption not to vaccinate? Should a child be denied admission to school for refusal to vaccinate? What is the Jewish approach to the vaccine for HPV?
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