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Thousands of Jewish homes in the Salford and Prestwich sections of Greater Manchester received a leaflet last week warning that the “so-called vaccines for corona-virus (in actuality a chemotherapy) are not effective and they are extremely dangerous.”

Bearing the name of Lakewood homeopath Jacob Vishnevsky, the leaflet advocates taking “Zink, Vitamin D and lots of Vitamin C” instead. It claims hundreds died immediately after receiving the vaccine and that scientists predict that half of those vaccinated will die within two to three years. The leaflet continues, “It is your responsibility to decline the vaccine for yourself and your family.”

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Dr. Gillian Kay, a Manchester-born Hebrew University molecular biologist, dismissed the leaflet’s claims as ridiculous. The vaccines, she told The Jewish Press, “are not a type of chemotherapy” and “there is no evidence that hundreds of people have died immediately after receiving the vaccine.”

Medical ethics expert Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Lieberman, who used to head a GP surgery in Prestwich before moving to Israel, said, “As a doctor, I would urge people to be guided by proper scientific data, not the pseudo-science nonsense which is put out by anti-vaxxers.”

He told The Jewish Press that a person who fails to get vaccinated, unless there is a medical reasons not to, is “contravening the Torah and potentially making [himself] into a rodef – someone who causes harm to others.”

The back of the leaflet contained several American phone numbers, one of which is that of Moshe Goldberg, who represents Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Smith of Save our Freedoms, an anti-lockdown group. Goldberg told The Jewish Press, “We didn’t know about the leaflet being distributed in Manchester, but it’s totally fine, we don’t mind.”

He said the facts that appear on the leaflet are based on past vaccines, not the present one.

Meanwhile, one frum doctor complained to The Jewish Press that “certain elements of the charedi community will not listen to doctors but rely on direction from [their] religious leaders” who, he said, have not “given out a consistent message” during the pandemic.

This week, a spokesperson for the Manchester Beth Din told The Jewish Press, “All the rabbis have been vaccinated and are ignoring any leaflets, if there are any.”

Jose Aguilar of Prestwich said he received the leaflet on the day he was due to have his vaccine. He told the Jewish Press, “I was at first petrified of having the vaccine until I read through the lines and realized the leaflet was a load of nonsense.”

When he felt very ill the night after receiving the vaccine, however, he said he thought he was “dying because of that leaflet.”

His illness, thankfully, was short-lived.

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Doreen Wachmann served as a senior reporter and columnist for Britain’s Jewish Telegraph newspaper for more than 20 years.