The truth about being a guinea pig without all the fake news. Let’s get real.
Joking aside, there are serious mistakes being made here. First is that nobody is being asked to be a guinea-pig. Over a million people have already received the Pfizer vaccine. The guinea-pig stage is over.
Is it possible that the vaccine has unknown long-term harmful effects? Sure, it’s possible. But that’s not the relevant question. The relevant question is: Given the harm that coronavirus is continuing to cause around the world, would it be better if people took the vaccine? And the answer to that question is certainly yes.
There is a further important point to consider. There were some people that were guinea-pigs. They received the very first vaccines. And they chose to be guinea-pigs. It wasn’t because they were scared of Covid – they were not in high-risk categories. It was because they recognized that taking this unknown personal risk would be of tremendous benefit to mankind as a whole.
Don’t just consider whether the vaccine is good for you. Consider society at large. Most of us don’t risk our lives in army service. This is something very simple that we can and should do for the benefit of society.
I of all people think that the lockdowns have been the greatest mistake of our lifetimes. Dennis Prager, one of my heroes says the same thing, but the vaccine is a different story.
I got the vaccine today and did not turn into a monkey (but I still like bananas).
Do you need to take the COVID vaccine according to halacha?
COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance presented by the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America
Halacha obligates us to care for our own health and to protect others from harm and illness.
In addition, Halacha directs us to defer to the consensus of medical experts in determining and prescribing appropriate medical responses to both treating and preventing illness.
There has long been an almost uniform consensus among leading medical experts that vaccines are an effective and responsible manner of protecting life and advancing health.
For over two hundred years vaccinations have been responsible for the dramatic reduction of many terrible diseases and have significantly improved public health in our country and around the world.
For this reason, the consensus of our major poskim (halachic decisors) is to encourage us to use vaccinations to protect ourselves and others from disease.
While this guidance of our poskim has addressed vaccine usage generally, the introduction of the novel COVID-19 vaccines required specific reconsideration.
The poskim recognize that the COVID-19 vaccines have been developed with unprecedented speed and are expected to be made available under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). In addition, the two currently leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates are mRNA vaccines which employ a new vaccine technology.
Notwithstanding these factors, the conclusion of our poskim is that, pursuant to the advice of your personal health care provider, the Torah obligation to preserve our lives and the lives of others requires us to vaccinate for COVID-19 as soon as a vaccine becomes available.
Run for your Life
Yankel Epshtein decided that it was time to get in shape, so he took up jogging and signed up for the New York City Marathon. Problem was, he wasn’t that “strong” a runner. As soon as the race started he was almost immediately in last place.
To make matters worse, the guy who was in front of Yankel, second to last, started making fun of him. He said, “Hey buddy, how does it feel to be last?”
Yankel replied, “You really want to know?”
Then he dropped out of the race.