CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio-- Recent outbreaks of measles in New York and chickenpox in North Carolina are prompting a private school in Cleveland Heights to mandate vaccinations for students.
The Hebrew Academy sent a letter to parents notifying them that all students must be vaccinated.
"We recognize that there are families that have strong views on both sides of this issue. However, this is not an area where we can accommodate any deviation from this new protocol," the letter said.
Cleveland Clinic Dr. Baruch Fertel, whose children attend the academy, said the proactive approach is wise considering the risk of an epidemic.
"There's no legitimate medical information or legitimate study that supports not vaccinating. Most of this comes from celebrities or other alarmists with little medical training. It's not just a personal decision, it affects other people," Fertel said.
"Vaccination relies on a concept called herd immunity. What it means is that the vaccines are often very effective. However, they rely on a critical mass of people to be vaccinated in order for these highly contagious diseases not to spread."
The only students exempt from the policy are those with a doctor's excuse, saying that as a result of their medical condition, a vaccination could be unsafe.