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Ohio school no longer accepts religion as excuse to not vaccinate children

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OHIO – According to NBC 5, a school in Ohio will no longer accept religious beliefs as an excuse for not vaccinating a child. 

In a letter to families, the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland administrators cited recent measles outbreaks in Jewish communities across the world as its reason to change policy.

"We recognize that there are families that have strong views on both sides of this issue," the letter reads. "However, this is not an area where we can accommodate any deviation from this new protocol."

School leaders say the only exception is if a physician certifies that a vaccination is medically inadvisable.

“This is particularly important, as there are students in our school for whom it is medically unsafe to be vaccinated," the letter reads. "Consequently, it is crucial that we ensure maximum vaccination rates across our student body.”

One doctor, Dr. Baruch Fertel from the Cleveland Clinic, told NBC 5 that "There’s really no good credible science for someone not to be vaccinated."

“We see from these outbreaks that it can just spread like wildfire and cause harm," said Fertel. 

Fertel also said he believes some parents are opting out of vaccinating children because of pop culture influences, and not religious beliefs. 

“A lot of it has to do with prominent celebrities all across the spectrum. Even some politicians have weighed into this discussion,” said Fertel.