Chief Rabbi: It is a ‘religious imperative’ to get vaccinated if offered

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Chief Rabbi: It is a ‘religious imperative’ to get vaccinated if offered

Ephraim Mirvis appeals for people 'to recognise the dangers that exist right now and to behave with responsibility at this critically important time'

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

The Chief Rabbi has said it is a “religious imperative” to get vaccinated against Covid-19 while telling observant Jews that if they feel at-risk in synagogues they should pray at home.

“When a vaccine is offered to you, you have a religious imperative to take it,” said Ephraim Mirvis in a video posted on Facebook on Wednesday.

He urged people “to recognise the dangers that exist right now… to behave with responsibility at this critically important time, to ensure that we don’t take risks with regards to our health, and to safeguard the lives of others”.

Mirvis said Brits were “privileged” to have a government that recognised the importance of keeping places of worship open during the national lockdown but warned worshippers not to “take advantage” of this.

“If there’s any risk associated with you coming to shul please daven (pray) at home instead. If your shul is open, please ensure we have added precautions at this time.”

On vaccines being offered, Mirvis said: “You have a religious imperative to take it, both to look after yourself and those around you.”

Last week dozens of Jewish doctors felt the need to sign an open letter to the community on the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine, citing false “rumours” that it contains pork and can harm fertility.

“When a vaccine is offered to you, you have a religious imperative to take it…” A message from the Chief Rabbi on how we approach the coming weeks of national lockdown.

Posted by Chief Rabbi Mirvis on Wednesday, January 6, 2021


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