The Chief Rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar, on Sunday sent an urgent letter to hundreds of Jewish communities in Russia, urging them to vaccinate quickly and reassuring them that the Russian vaccine Sputnik V is safe.
Rabbi Lazar wrote (translation via Collive): “Unfortunately, the Corona pandemic has recently been on the rise again, and there are many families who became sick. First, I wish them all a speedy recovery, we pray for them and hope that everyone will be able to overcome the plague.”
He continued: “I appeal to you with a very important request – get vaccinated against the Corona, as the halacha demands of us to guard our health in every way.”
Rabbi Lazar reminded Russian Jews that “the virus is very dangerous not only for the elderly but also for people with chronic diseases. For many, the disease was mild and they are almost asymptomatic, but doctors warn that even in this case there may be various after-effects and complications.”
The Chief Rabbi called on Russian Jews to get vaccinated with Sputnik V, noting, “I spoke to many doctors and they all unanimously say the vaccine is completely safe.”
Chief Rabbi Lazar caught the coronavirus in early June and was under medical supervision, according to TASS. His press service announced at the time that “Rabbi Lazar has been diagnosed with the coronavirus infection. He is under medical supervision. His health is out of danger.”
According to TASS, Rabbi Itzkhak Kogan of the Moscow Synagogue on Bolshaya Bronnaya Street was taken to hospital with a coronavirus infection in March.