All public schools and most private schools in the United States require children who will attend (and who are medically able to receive vaccinations) to have had standard childhood vaccinations. In most states, however, parents are allowed to get around this requirement by claiming a "religious or philosophical exemption."
I am wondering whether there are any grounds for a "religious exemption" based on traditional Judaism. Such grounds would consist of a Jewish authority that prohibits childhood vaccination. A source that merely says, for example, that it's not halachically required would have no bearing on whether parents can legally claim exemption from state law based on their adherence to Judaism, since adherence to such a source wouldn't contradict compliance with the law.
Are there any authoritative1 halachic sources that prohibit standard childhood vaccinations, such as MMR?
I am not asking for any of the following:
- Sources that permit, encourage, or require vaccination
- Sources that permit non-vaccination
- Reasoning without basis in explicitly on-point sources
Of course, consult your rabbi before doing anything based on what you read here, and consult your doctor before making any medical decisions.
1. Define this word however you see fit, but the more authoritative the source in my eyes, the more likely I am to up-vote the answer.