Jewish doctors target misinformation about the Pfizer vaccine

More than 60 medics sign letter highlighting baseless rumours about the jab, some of which are ‘prevalent in Jewish circles’


A healthcare worker holds a Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine at Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center, in Miami, Florida on December 30, 2020. (Photo by Eva Marie UZCATEGUI / AFP) (Photo by EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images)

More than 60 Jewish doctors have come out fighting against misinformation about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, urging the public to “stop spreading rumours”.

An open letter organised by Dr Sam Freeman, signed by GPs, consultants and other medical professionals, discusses “some of the rumours" surrounding the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“We believe the widespread uptake of the vaccine will prevent illness and lead to lives being saved by protecting people from catching Covid-19, by reducing the burden of ‘long Covid’ in younger patients, and by preventing hospitals becoming overburdened,” the letter says. 

 It adds that there is no evidence for a “rumour that the vaccine causes infertility”, a misconception it warns is “particularly prevalent in Jewish circles.”

“mRNA vaccines cannot alter your DNA. They simply act as messengers teaching your body how to create antibodies in case you encounter the infection at a later date.

“There is no logical reason to assume that the mRNA vaccine would affect fertility.”

The letter also denies false claims the vaccine contains “pork or anything that isn’t kosher”.

It says there exists “very few medical reasons not to be vaccinated” and that those invited for a vaccination are screened by a healthcare professional beforehand. 

“We live in a time where misinformation is increasingly common. Rumours spread quickly, and social media has played a significant contribution in this.

“We urge people to stop spreading rumours and instead, consult those working in healthcare with an ability to appraise scientific evidence,” it adds. 

The letter, which can be read in full here, focuses on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. 

The signatories say they are “very excited” about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine’s approval for use in the UK, which was announced Wednesday.

530,000 doses of the vaccine - developed by the University of Oxford with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca - will be available from Monday. 

As of yesterday, another 50,023 new cases were reported in the UK as well as 981 more deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

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