WATCH: HaRav Chaim: “Even If The Husband Is Opposed, Women Should Get Vaccinated”

At least 16 women in Israel who contracted the coronavirus while pregnant are now critically ill, a phenomenon attributed to the British variant. Some of the women had their babies delivered by emergency C-section and the babies are also in serious condition. The women are all Chareidi as the British variant has rapidly spread through the Chareidi sector in Israel.

Israel’s Health Ministry has recommended that pregnant women get vaccinated, a move approved by both HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky and HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein.

Rav Elyakim Levanon, the director of Bonei Olam, and Prof. Adrian Shulman, the chairman of the Israel Fertility Association, visited the home of HaRav Chaim on Monday to consult with the Gadol HaDor about the situation.

Prof. Shulman, one of Israel’s leading experts on fertility, requested that HaRav Chaim call on the Chareidi public for young women to be vaccinated due to the rise in cases of young women becoming seriously ill after contracting the virus during pregnancy.

“[The virus] is particularly dangerous at the end of the pregnancy – in the last few months,” Prof. Shulman told HaRav Chaim. “We’re recommending that women get vaccinated prior to becoming pregnant or after the 15th week of pregnancy. They shouldn’t get vaccinated at the beginning of a pregnancy.”

Prof. Shulman also told HaRav Chaim that the antibodies against the coronavirus begin to decrease after six months so even if a woman already had the virus, she should be vaccinated after six months have passed.

The specific shailos that HaRav Chaim answered are the following:

Should a nursing woman be vaccinated?

HaRav Chaim: Yes.

If a husband is opposed to his wife being vaccinated, is she permitted to do so without informing him?

HaRav Chaim: Yes.

Women who don’t want to be vaccinated are harming themselves?

HaRav Chaim: It’s pikuach nefesh. They’re obligated to be vaccinated.

Should a pregnant woman who recovered from the coronavirus over six months ago be vaccinated?

HaRav Chaim: Yes.

Someone who won’t be vaccinated – can it be said that he/she is endangering the lives of others?

HaRav Chaim: Correct.

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