Boro Park – Hundreds of large posters appeared in Jewish neighborhoods throughout New York on Tuesday morning with Agudath Israel’s logo prominently displayed on top, supposedly urging people to call their lawmakers about a new vaccine requirement.
The posters are fraudulent, Agudah said in a sharply worded statement. In addition, there is no bill on the agenda that would justify the urgent call.
The posters claimed that the state legislature would vote “TODAY” on a mandate for girls to be immunized for HPV, an autoimmune disease that is virtually nonexistent in the Orthodox community.
“If your seventh-grade bas Yisroel,” the sign warned ominously, “won’t get the Gardasil (HPV) shot … she will not be allowed to have a Bais Yaakov education!”
The poster added a few names and numbers, including of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
While a bill to mandate the immunization exists, it is far from assured of reaching a vote, certainly not in the next few days or weeks. There are thousands of bills proposed each session that do not end up becoming law.
The Yeshiva World said it has “confirmed” that anti-vaxxers, a small number of people who refuse to vaccinate despite its safety, are behind the fraudulent posters.
“These memos,” Agudah wrote in a statement, “are COMPLETE FORGERIES and Agudath Israel disavows any association with them. Any authentic public communication sent from Agudath Israel will always have the name and contact of a staff member for easy authentication. They will also be posted on our website, Agudah.org, and on Twitter @AgudahNews.”
Agudah is looking at taking legal action against those behind the posters for the counterfeit.