Even vaccines considered safe for most cause harm to a minority.
Even vaccines considered safe by conventional medicine aren't always considered safe for pregnancy.
See, for example, this Mayo Clinic list of vaccines that should NOT be taken during pregnancy:
- Chickenpox (varicella) vaccine
- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine
- Shingles vaccine
So questioning the risk of a vaccine during pregnancy is a perfectly logical thing to do.
In fact, questioning the risk of any new drug or vaccine makes perfect sense.
The "Oops!" Side of the Drug Market
While personal observation & experience shows that the covid epidemic does cause more complications than the average flu season (as described here: imagine-theres-no-mediawhat-is-your-personal-reality-of-covid-19.html), I personally have not observed it to be more lethal than any other cold or flu virus...except for the populations always at risk for any virus or viral complication.
Also, so many people undergo such a light bout of covid, with many not even displaying any symptoms (except for testing positive), it's hard to take the covid vaccine hype seriously.
And finally, it is perfectly reasonable for anyone to say, "I wish to hold off from the vaccine until it develops a proven safety record."
A safety record can only occur over time. Rationally speaking, there is no immediate way to develop a history.
You need time.
Given the fiascos with medical products in modern times, taking the position as a "late adopter" is a respectably logical position.
For example, the sedative Xanax was initially promoted as the non-addictive alternative to Valium...until widespread long-term use showed Xanax as MORE addictive than Valium.
Didn't they test Xanax before it went on the market? Yes, of course.
But some things cannot be known until a certain amount of time passes.
An uncommon yet terrible side effect of anti-depressants is how they cause some people to become MORE depressed. For some people, taking antidepressants incites them to commit suicide—or even homicide.
Because they aren't common, those deadly side effects took a while to discover.
In other words, observers needed long-term observation to discover these uncommon yet dangerous side effects.
These side effects simply could not be seen until enough time went by.
After testing, drug manufacturers pushed the anti-inflammatory pill Suprofen on the market, causing it to be prescribed to a wide number of patients.
Then doctors discovered Suprofen causes kidney damage.
Nearly 25% of Suprofen-users suffering Suprofen-induced flank pain ended up in the hospital, which caused its recall in the 1980s, first in Europe and then in the United States.
So anyone who wishes to wait a year (or five) upon the introduction of a new drug certainly shows good sense.
With FDA approval, Pfizer introduced an antibiotic called trovafloxacin in 1997. But 2 years later, after around 100 cases of liver damage & even death, the FDA recommended limited usage of the drug before Pfizer completely withdrew the drug from the market in 2000.
The 1976 Flu Vaccine
With "experts" predicting a flu epidemic on par with the Spanish flu pandemic, researchers put together a flu vaccine, which President Ford made compulsory. Yet they stopped the vaccine campaign when they discovered a link between the vaccine and a neurological disorder.
The above are just 4 examples.
But we see that taking a wait-and-see attitude regarding medications & vaccines shows healthy caution & good sense.
Even conventional doctors choose to wait a year or more before prescribing a new drug to their patients.
Such doctors are labeled Late Adopters/Skeptics by drug companies.
In other words, being a Late Adopter/Skeptic is a perfectly legitimate position to take.
It's a legitimate category shared by conventional doctors.
Anyone who wishes to adopt that position for ANY drug or vaccine (ESPECIALLY regarding its use on pregnant women or children) clearly has the right to do so.
And, as described above, solid evidence exists to support this position as a logical & responsible one.
What's Wrong with Holding Out for PROVEN Effectiveness & Safety?
Many people question the safety of the covid vaccine, the motivations of those who push it so hard, and even its basic effectiveness.
(Personally, I have a hard time calling it a vaccine at this point. Everyone we know who fell ill with the Delta variant had received 2 or 3 vaccine shots. Is it a vaccine if it doesn't vaccinate?)
On the other side stand people who genuinely fear covid & its continuously mutating variants AND they look to the vaccine as salvation.
This side comprises 3 groups:
- People who, due to their medical condition, genuinely face serious risk from a covid infection. That's understandably scary for them & those who care about them.
- People who suffered such a bad bout of covid, they understandably fear another infection.
- People who crave getting back to normal. They see whole-population vaccination as the way to return to normal. Their desperation leads them to believe anything the mainstream tells them about the vaccine (even if it's obviously not true...like how so many of the vaccinated fall ill with the Delta variant).
(Just for knowing: Rav Itamar Schwartz says covid will never disappear until Mashiach. Yes, there will be periods when we'll feel like we've almost gone back to "normal"—picture the outward ebb & inward flow of a fluctuating tide—but covid is here to stay, vaccine or not.)
You have respected rabbis & doctors on both sides of the equation.
(BTW, "respected rabbi" means NOT every guy with smicha or who heads a shul. Respected rabbis possess genuine da'as, and not just a certificate or a position.)
A person could evaluate his or her personal situation AND all available material on the issue...and decide it is worth taking the vaccine.
A person could also evaluate all those same factors and decide NOT to take the vaccine.
Here's a purely objective & rational point of view:
If a person wishes to take a wait-and-see attitude regarding ANY medicine or vaccine, this is a completely rational & responsible position to take—ESPECIALLY in light of the recent history of drug mishaps & recalls.
Therefore, an intelligent, rational person can logically say regarding any new medicine or vaccine:
"First, I wish to see proven its:
- effectiveness (does it even do what it claims to do?)
This is especially important with regard to a drug or vaccine's effect on pregnancy or children!
Just as another example regarding children:
It took years to notice how Ritalin stunts growth & development in many children (source).
Once they noticed that 3 years on Ritalin produced shorter, less developed children, they needed to plan a study for another TEN years to see whether that lack of growth translated into shorter adults. (It seems it doesn't...according to a study that took over TWENTY years, source.)
But look at the amount of TIME necessary to discover all that.
(BTW, I witnessed a striking example of this in my friend's identical twins. After commenting to my friend about seeing her twins at age 14, and how one twin had sprouted up & developed broad shoulders and more manly appearance while his identical twin brother remained significantly shorter with a little-boy appearance, she looked at me and said, "Yeah. The smaller one is the one on Ritalin." But now they're 20 and around the same height & build.)
Again, long-term evidence is impossible until enough time passes to create the "long" term.
Why is this position important?
The Most Logical Position
It's pure logic.
Some people believe there is a sinister global conspiracy behind covid & the covid vaccine, some people in a partial conspiracy...while others believe anything the mainstream tells them about covid & its vaccine.
People hesitant about the vaccine face demonization, job loss, and more.
Then a lot of talk goes on about conspiracies, or religious objections, or the right to put or not put stuff in your body.
But the basic fact is that taking the position of Late Adopter/Skeptic is completely legitimate on its own.
It doesn't matter what you believe about the motivations of world leaders or your "rights."
Simply saying, "I wish to see the long-term effects" makes so much sense.
And that's it.
No emotion. No conjecture. No theories.
Just a very sensible & responsible position.
Having said that, I know many people protest this position with declarations of how so many doctors consider in perfectly safe and "We've been using mRNA vaccines for years!" and strongly recommend people take the covid vaccine, reassuring them of its safety.
But here's the thing:
Early Adopter Doctors ALWAYS do that with new drugs!
When doctors prescribed Xanax under the impression that it was less addictive, they meant well.
When doctors initially prescribed suprofen or trovafloxacin, do you think they MEANT to damage their patients' vital organs or even kill them?
No! No, no, no.
Those doctors sincerely wished to help their patients.
One doctor, a Late Adopter who held to a policy of never prescribing a new drug until it had been on the market for a year, ended up prescribing suprofen to his own mother after ongoing intense pressure from a pharmaceutical rep convinced him to change his position.
Suprofen killed his mother.
Do you think he WANTED to kill his own mother?
NO. Of course not.
New medications & vaccines are always a risk UNTIL they develop (if they develop) a PROVEN track record.
So anyone who wishes to hold off on the covid vaccine is demonstrating a perfectly rational & responsible position WITHOUT ANY OTHER CONSIDERATIONS in the equation.
This especially applies to covid, which is a direct result of having shifted into the Keter d'Keter d'reisha d'lo ityada dimension & the 50th level of tumah.
(If you want to see why I believe this, you can read this: https://bilvavi.net/files/Bilvavi.Corona.Talks.pdf )
Note #2: Rav Itamar Schwartz recommends praying for Hashem to shine the light of Redemption on the world as a way of sweetening & reaching the era of Mashiach.
For more on Keter d'Keter d'reisha d'lo ityada, please see: www.myrtlerising.com/blog/scientists-are-documenting-the-keter-dreisha-dlo-ityada-only-they-dont-know-it, plus the links included within the body of that post.