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Opinion: Why I Got Vaccinated | Avi Gutfreund

There is so much debate over whether to get vaccinated and such a large amount of conflicting information being absorbed by people, that it has become very difficult for the average layman to determine whether they should be receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. 

This problem of conflicting information is particularly apparent in people who are young and healthy.

On the one hand, they hear that they should get the vaccine to protect themselves, but also hear and know that COVID-19 isn’t likely to have a terrible impact on them if they do get infected. They are also receiving conflicting information whether the vaccine is safe. Media reports of blood clots and campaigns warning about certain people getting very bad side effects from the vaccines compel people not to get it, while doctors and researchers say they should definitely get it, as the risks of bad side effects are lower than the risk of serious side effects from an infection, even in young people.

All this conflicting information has led to a lot of people deciding to take a wait-and-see approach to the vaccine. They will wait for a while to see how many other people who will anyways get the vaccine are affected and then decide based on their own observations whether they should get it. It’s an understandable approach, but one that is misguided, in my opinion.

I chose to get the vaccine as soon as I could, despite being relatively young, and here’s why:

The COVID virus is not a stable virus. What I mean is that it doesn’t stay the same forever. As the virus spreads and reproduces, it undergoes mutations – changes in its structure. These mutations have already been seen throughout the world; we have the British variant, the Indian variant, the South African variant, the Brazilian variant, and so on. For the most part, these different strains have not shown to make a massive difference. Some are believed to be more contagious, while with others there are concerns that vaccines won’t be effective against them. So far, and hopefully it remains this way, there has not been an observed major difference between the variants, except for perhaps the Indian variant, where there is now a tsunami of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from the virus in the country of 1.3 billion people.

But here’s the thing. It is very possible that a future variant can be much more deadly and able to bypass vaccines. The risk is perhaps slight, but the repercussions are not. If that happens, it could literally pose a significant existential threat to humanity. To prevent that, we need to get this virus to stop spreading, and thereby stop mutating. To achieve that we need to get vaccinated.

The virus might not pose a major risk for me or you right now, but it very well could in the future. If we want to prevent that, we should be proactive. And the way to be proactive is to get vaccinated.

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There are 25 Comments to "Opinion: Why I Got Vaccinated | Avi Gutfreund"

  • Alex Levit says:

    You may be right, you may not be right. But the thing you’re forgetting is that you don’t have to take the vaccine because of a “threat to humanity” or because of the different strains. You have to take the vaccine because all of our greatest tzaddikim of this generation said we should take it. We have to remember that there is a creator to this world, and that creator gave a certain power to the chachamim of each generation to make decisions. HaShem will not let the tzaddikim be embarrassed. If the greatest tzaddikim and chachamim of the generation say to take the vaccine, we have to have emunat hachamim and listen to them. HaShem runs this world, not the scientists, and not the doctors. You shouldn’t be taking the vaccine because the doctors say it protects you, but because the greatest rabbis of our generation say to take it!

  • Dw says:

    How do you know that the vaccine that was produced for the current strain will even protect you for the variants ?? A young healthy person who is in good physical shape is at such a low risk of dying from the virus… Why does it make sense to risk a vaccine that was produced in such a rush with no long term data??

  • save the world says:

    If you are trying to save humanity for a slight problem that may happen, why don’t you just learn Torah and do Mitzvos? That’s more likely to make an impact.

    I can’t figure out why you would risk your own life with an experiment for minute-chance occurrence. The vaccine doesn’t stop transmission anyway so I’m not sure your logic works in any case.

  • Anonymous says:

    As Jews we think about others. We are Gomlie Chasadim. Although some people may be less vulnerable, they can still pass it along to others that are more vulnerable.
    There is no conflicting information among medical experts. 99.9 % recommend getting the vaccine. Common sense and halacha would say to listen to medical advice.

    • yosef says:

      “they can still pass it along to others” – and even more so after being injected.

  • Anon says:

    Who is Avi Gutfreund? And does anybody care why he got vaccinated?

  • Dr. Noe says:

    Get facts straight from Pfizer:

    https://media.tghn.org/medialibrary/2020/11/C4591001_Clinical_Protocol_Nov2020_Pfizer_BioNTech.pdf

    See pages 67-69 in particular. This is their official document. Pretty scary stuff.

    • translation says:

      Can you please give a quick summary? A lot of difficult jargon. ty

    • Zohar 45 says:

      Dr Noe – Really??

      Seems like you’re confusing the types of predicaments Pfizer wants people in the study to report with those that actually took place.

      Pretty scary interpretation for a self described Dr.

      • Did You Actually Read It says:

        Your sentence does not make any grammatical sense. Actually all adverse issues must be reported within 24 hours of onset regardless of whether people are in the study or not.

  • Shlomo T. says:

    Great article! Thanks for the excellent point!

  • Not all rabbis, not even most says:

    Alex, many rabbonim said to take the vaccine, and many rabbonim said not to. There is no Sanhedrin today, no blanket rule for everyone in a matter that is not Halacha. Please ask your own Daas Torah and don’t rely on lol koreis and videos circulating the internet for your psak.

  • Simple says:

    (I got vaccinated)
    If the government really wants people to vaccinate then they need to say that people who are vaccinated don’t need to mask and social distance. It makes no sense to tell people get vaccinated but u still need a mask.
    Why would people trust it if the government doesnt.

  • no plan of vaccination says:

    How can anyone rely on a psak from a gadol from heresay, that was given in Eretz Yisroel way in the beginning when the vaccines first started coming out. Since then, a tremendous amount of important information regarding serious adverse events have come out. This is something that requires a new shayla every time the information becomes clearer and changes! You don’t even live in Eretz Yisroel — does the psak given apply to every person in every situation in every location? It can’t be. ASK YOUR OWN SHAYLA after seriously researching this experimental vaccine.

  • yosef says:

    Is it known to stop the spread of current or past variant strains (or only to reduce mild symptoms)?

  • Thank You TLS says:

    WOW! Thanks for posting the link to the Pfizer report. It clearly shows that those who were vaccinated can spread the virus to those around them!!! These two paragraphs are pretty horrifying:

    8.3.5.2. Exposure During Breastfeeding An exposure during breastfeeding occurs if:
    * A female participant is found to be breastfeeding while receiving or after discontinuing study intervention.
    * A female is found to be breastfeeding while being exposed or having been exposed to study intervention (ie, environmental exposure). An example of environmental exposure during breastfeeding is a female family member or healthcare provider who reports that she is breastfeeding after having been exposed to the study intervention by inhalation or skin contact. The investigator must report exposure during breastfeeding to Pfizer Safety within 24 hours of the investigator’s awareness…
    8.3.5.3. Occupational Exposure An occupational exposure occurs when a person receives unplanned direct contact with the study intervention, which may or may not lead to the occurrence of an AE. Such persons may include healthcare providers, family members, and other roles that are involved in the trial participant’s care.

    They knew this and never told us.

  • Johns Hopkins University says:

    Thank you TLS for the facts! I searched around and found something very interesting, India is currently having the worst Covid rate on the planet and put in place a mandatory vaccine policy. Since they did that, instead of the cases going down they went up by just on last Thursday! 379,257 with 3,645 deaths adding to the 18,346,421 cases and 204,832 previously recorded. India has the second highest percentage of cases and deaths only to the USA which comes in second and we don’t have a mandatory vaccination policy, yet.

  • Hi John Hopkins says:

    I don’t know if you read this as well but India is having a MAJOR vaccine shortage. Although 600 MILLION people there are newly eligible for the vaccine, only a tiny amount of people have actually been vaccinated due to the severe vaccine shortage. As of a week ago, less than 10% of their eligible population has been vaccinated. With such a low vaccination rate and a hugely contagious disease its obvious- and beyond tragic- that cases will continue to rise. Praying for them…Israel, on the other hand, which was successfully able to vaccinate a majority of its population just reported their lowest number of covid cases in 14 months.

  • the truth says:

    They told us a lot of things… A lot is out there…they even listed 22 possible serious side effects that may occur, BUT people are trusting the “experts” and not thinking for themselves… If you research the vaccines well, the truth is evident

  • Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche says:

    there may be many reasons to get the vaccine but the one presented by this author is completely fallacious according to medical experts such as Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche who is a doctor that develops vaccines lead some prestigious vaccine development teams. Based on his comments and letters to the public using this vaccine during a pandemic is causing the virus to mutate. He loosely compares it to using the wrong anti-biotics to treat a condition which causes the bacteria to mutate and become anti-biotic resistant. You should make medical decisions based on scientist that understand vaccines and immunology…

  • Astonished says:

    The sheer amount of illiteracy, boich svoras, and frank laitzonis, by the cadre of internet “doctors” here is astonishing. Geert….is a VETERINARIAN charlatan. The misreading and abject misunderstanding of the Pfizer document….how did you get through basic mishnayos? The claim that India only had an uptick “because” of their vaccine mandate….can you read? This is what passes for lomdus these days?? (In effect, their vaccination stats stands at about 8% THATS why they’re having a huge uptick) How did you get through Yeshiva? What is happening in our community?? I am deeply deeply saddened and ashamed by the public display of am haaratzus here. How did you ever get through a tosfos? Rashi? I’m embarrassed by this public display. Avi Gutfreund, THANK YOU for for getting vaccinated.

    • To Astonished says:

      Geert Vanden Bossche has a PhD in virology besides being a Veterinarian. He is a whisleblower on WHO and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation who has been silenced by the media and Big Pharma. Maybe you should also try to get through a Malbim or Torah Temimah or even the Ramban. Might give you a little humility instead of bragging about what you claim to have learned and challenging everyone else to a Yeshiva Olympics. Oish.

  • How do you know? says:

    How do you know that the people you are referring to are even Jewish, let alone Yeshiva educated. I’m astonished at your irrational assumptions and brazen accusations. You are entitled to your opinion but not to attack others for theirs, Jews or not. As a non-Jew, if you had that attitude with me I would walk as far away from you as I could. The way you express yourself is completely uncalled for. Insulting people in a public display, to use your own words.

  • THE TRUTH will become clear says:

    How many stories do we have to have in our immediately community in order to believe that these vaccines are potentially dangerous CV? There are many many incidences already reported in the general community, but if an individual doesn’t know the person who had the adverse event, he doesn’t believe the stories.. The truth will eventually become very clear, but how many people will have to be affected by then CV and you can’t “UNDO” the shot.

  • It's Not What It Says says:

    It’s not what it says it is. It’s Experimental Gene Therapy (as in some medications used to treat cancer, many which are also experimental). It’s not a really a vaccine at all. Because it’s by injection doesn’t make it a vaccine by accurate definition.