Medical Experts Discuss Covid Vaccines

The COVID pandemic has challenged us in many ways, and now we are fortunate that highly effective and safe vaccines have been developed that have been proven to:

  1. Protect the recipient from COVID illness in approximately 95% of cases.
  2. Prevent transmission of COVID disease to others in approximately 90% of recipients.
  3. Give significant protection against new variant strains of SARS-Cov2.
  4. Give more protection than the immunity induced by having had COVID.

The MOST EFFECTIVE way to protect your health and the health of others and to avoid variant strains of SARS-Cov2, which are more contagious and may be more virulent, from causing new illness and death, is by widespread vaccination.

Although in most cases, past infection provides protective immunity for some time, vaccines seem to be superior in their protective effect against repeat infection and disease than having had prior natural infection. Having antibodies after COVID infection does not necessarily protect against newer variant strains of the virus and antibody levels tend to wane with time.

Misinformation regarding the COVID vaccines have led to vaccine hesitancy among some people.

This document is intended to inform and share data, so you can make an educated decision regarding vaccination against SARS-Cov2 infection.


  • Rigorous monitoring of side effects from millions of vaccinated people have shown minimal to no serious adverse events RELATED to the vaccine. What have been reported are deaths and events AFTER the vaccine but not FROM the vaccine. Deaths (and blood clots and heart attacks and pneumonia, etc.) occur every day, especially when observing a large population of millions of people.
  • As part of transparency and honest reporting in medical research, ANY negative outcome that occurs after a treatment intervention (vaccination in our case) is reported EVEN IF IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TREATMENT. It is available for experts to then determine the possible association between the vaccine (or any new treatment) and the negative outcome. What people are reporting are negative events, but they are likely not due to vaccination and the occurrences are NO MORE FREQUENT than what was expected in the absence of vaccinations.
  • Even blood clot concerns that are being investigated are extremely rare. A total of 18 deaths have been reported after the AstraZeneca vaccine from among over 655 million vaccines administered; a rate much lower than being struck by lightning. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has been paused due to 6 cases of severe blood clots (only 1 death) occurring after 6.8 million vaccines administered in the US (risk of less than 1 in a million). Even if these events are linked to a vaccine, the risk of death and of blood clotting problems from COVID disease is much greater than that from any vaccine. Furthermore, for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines used in the US and Israel, not a single case of unusual blood clotting has yet been reported despite close to 170 million vaccines given in those countries.
  • Some have raised concerns regarding miscarriages among pregnant women after vaccination. CHEMED Health Center has researched this question and contacted 80% of the pregnant women vaccinated, all of which were at least 20 days after their first dose. Only 2 women experienced a miscarriage, which translates into a miscarriage rate of 0.8%, which is much lower than the normal expected miscarriage rate (miscarriages occur in approximately 20% of pregnancies throughout the entire pregnancy, most occurring in the first trimester). COVID-19 disease is more severe and more dangerous in pregnancy. Data on COVID-19 disease in pregnancy has shown 3-fold greater rates of severe disease, hospitalization, life-support, and deaths among pregnant American women with COVID-19 compared to women with COVID-19 who are not pregnant. There is also evidence that COVID-19 disease increases rates of preterm birth. On the other hand, COVID-19 vaccines are safe in pregnancy, and has been received by tens of thousands of pregnant women in the US and in Israel. The rate of adverse events during pregnancy is not higher in vaccinated women than in the general pregnant population.


  • There is no biological basis whatsoever to this claim. The immune response from the vaccine simulates the immune response to the virus, without causing true infection. Infertility has not been an observed complication of COVID disease and has not been reported in any CDC surveillance and there have been no reports suggesting infertility after vaccination.
  • There is no data to support this myth. An active anti-vaccine campaign of disinformation has widely circulated this false claim that COVID-19 vaccines harm fertility. Despite a substantial proportion of the population on Earth having had COVID-19 infection, not a single report of infertility (among women or among men) following disease has emerged. Despite half a billion vaccine doses being given (many of which targeted young health workers, like nurses, around the world), not a single report of post-vaccine infertility or reduced fertility has emerged. Any claim of an association between COVID-19 vaccines and fertility is false. No study has ever suggested female (or male) infertility from any COVID vaccine.


  • Scientific collaboration across countries and companies has allowed for a more rapid development of an effective vaccine, removing many bureaucratic hurdles to the development of drugs and treatments. The trials studied thousands of volunteers and the data safety monitoring was identical to the development of other vaccines. COVID-19 vaccines were developed and tested in vaccine trials that were among the largest trials ever conducted. These trials were conducted under very rigorous safety oversight. The trials have provided strong and definitive evidence of safety, which are widely published. The trials have proven that the vaccines are safe and have high efficacy.
  • Antibody dependent enhancement (ADE): ADE is a known phenomenon in medicine, that can occur from past natural infection, and has been known to occur after some vaccines, leading to an amplified and harmful immune reaction in some people. This issue has been a major obstacle to the development of some other vaccines against very serious and common childhood infections. When COVID-19 began, scientists were well aware of this issue and were discussing it openly and publicly. Every vaccine study, from the animal work to human immunological and clinical trials, has examined this issue in detail. There has been to date no evidence of ADE occurring with any COVID-19 vaccine. Immunological work published for many vaccines show that the vaccines protect against ADE. This is good news, because it was a feature that has been carefully examined. ADE and severe immune-mediated disease occur also in natural infection. The benefits of vaccination in reducing COVID-19 disease means that vaccination will result in LESS, not more, ADE-like phenomena. ADE remains a theoretical issue that is under very close scrutiny, and many hundreds of rigorous scientific and medical investigations are strongly reassuring on this issue.
  • More than 655 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given worldwide, including 165 million in the United States. In places where vaccines have been introduced, large-scale studies have shown substantial reductions in the burden of COVID-19, at a scale even larger than the original large trials.

  • Israel has been leading the world in immunization coverage of the population. As a result of the successful roll-out of vaccination, rates of severe disease and deaths and new cases have declined very dramatically, allowing resumption of normal social activity.


  • The mRNA vaccine for COVID, just like any other vaccine, does not alter human DNA. The mRNA molecule is a nucleotide that the body produces constantly to translate the genetic code and produce proteins for the body. The mRNA vaccine enters the cytoplasm of the cell and stimulates the machinery of the cell to produce the spike protein of the coronavirus. This protein then exits the cell and stimulates a robust immune response, preparing the immune system’s B-cells and T-cells for any invasion of possible COVID-19 infection and efficiently eliminating the SARS-Cov2 virus before allowing illness to develop. The mRNA virus does NOT enter the nucleus of the cell where DNA resides and NEVER gets incorporated into the DNA molecule, and obviously does not alter the DNA or the genetic code in people. The claims circulated by anti-vaccine campaigners that the vaccine changes human DNA are entirely false. Also, the vaccines do not contain hormones or any other chemical or biological mediator than can affect normal biological functioning.


  • Despite the fact that many have experienced COVID disease, major segments of the population, even in the frum community, have not had COVID. As new virus variants spread throughout the country, the possibility of serious illness and death is real. Even newer treatments, such as monoclonal antibody infusions, steroids and anticoagulation, are not universally effective in preventing serious illness and death, especially if not initiated early enough in the course of disease.


  • The CDC recommends that people who have already had COVID-19 and recovered from it should still be vaccinated, because we do not know how long natural immunity lasts after you recover from COVID-19 or whether it’s as strong as the immunity you get from vaccination. Receiving vaccination, even after past infection, is the best way to ensure strong and long-lived protection.
  • If immunity fades, one could be at risk of contracting COVID a second time and possibly becoming sicker than the first time, as well as transmitting the disease to others.


  • COVID-19 disease has been difficult for the medical community in many ways. As a new disease, just discovered at the end of 2019, we have been busy learning as much as possible and as quickly as possible in order to better treat the disease and discover a vaccine that will prevent it. The primary directive in medicine is “First do no harm!” Many layers of safety concerns are in place to ensure the safety of individuals and of the community. Despite political influences that may seem to you to muddy the waters, your doctors and the medical establishment are dedicated to the health and betterment of society. The physicians of our Lakewood community have no political bias or connection to pharmaceutical companies driving recommendations. Just as you trust your physician as an expert to guide you in any other disease, your doctor has your interest here too. Their understanding of infection, viruses and immunology will guide you with regard to COVID-19 to make the safest decision for you. If you don’t trust your doctor, find a doctor whom you do trust to guide you!

Naor Bar-Zeev, MD, MPH, PhD

Professor of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology

Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health


Howard Lebowitz, MD

Chief Medical Officer, AcuteCare Health System


Daniel Roth, MD

Professor, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School


Shimshi Zimmerman, DO, FACEP, FAEMS

Medical Director, Hatzolah of Central Jersey

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  1. Thank you to these doctors who work tirelessly for the health of our kehilla! Thank you for putting together this information with such clarity!

  2. I’m all for vaccines and in fact got the pfizer vaccine myself a year after getting covid. BUT we need to stick to facts and cut the crock about vaccines giving you longer lasting immunity amd the possibility of getting covid worse the second time around.
    In fact both moderna and Pfizer are both saying that it looks like the vaccine will give you immunity for “at least six months” and you will probably have to get a booster six months later. At the same time there are numerous studies showing natural immunity lasts for quite a while. My personal experience is that most people I know are still showing antibodies a year after getting covid. And despite the fact that masks and social Distancing is non existent, there have been no superspreader events of people getting it a second time. The very few isolated cases of people who did get it a second time, tend to have gotten a more minor case than the first time around. The real truth is that nobody has a clue if vaccines are actually more effective than natural immunity.
    Medical Professionals should well remember that while accusing outdoor minyanim last spring of being mass murderers and sending out robocalls announcing you could spread the virus with your shoes was very effective at creating mass hysteria at the time. Ultimately, it ended up creating a tremendous loss of credibility for the entire medical profession amd gave ammunition to all the cynics.

    • Many doctors lost credibility in my eyes during COVID when they said HCQ was dangerous and would not prescribe it thus causing many unnecessary deaths. Some doctors still won’t prescribe HCQ or ivermectin which are both being used by a number of doctors successfully across the world to treat and prevent covid. Now they are pushing a vaccine that is experimental and still has ongoing trials and adverse events being reported. While these adverse events are rare, they are still a real risk and most people do not need the vaccine anyway because either they had covid already and the immunity seems to be lasting very long for most people (antibodies are not the only measure of immunity btw — there are also B cells and T cells) or they are not high risk. It is very, very very rare for someone not high risk to pass away from COVID and if their vitamin D levels are high, even high risk people will generally fare ok. The key is to GET treatment and treat early while checking oxygen. I am not anti-vax and I use doctors, but something strange is going on when it comes to COVID and misinformation coming from so called “experts”.

  3. Now I am not anti vax. I get all needed shots and so do my kids… BUT….I trust nothing and no one in relation to covid or the vaccine. I had a positive PCR last year and never developed antibodies. I had tested multiple times. So if I had a false PCR so did countless others. It is all fake. So is this vaccine nonsense. Everything is covid covid covid not a single flu case. Why not??? Makes me wonder if flu is “fake” too just to push vaccines. People get sick. Thats life. Side effects to this vaccine are REAL. I heard directly from an EMT that he refuses to take the vaccine because of countless calls he took that has been on in direct relation to taking the vaccine ranging from arm numbness to seizures. Take at your own risk. Whether you decide to take or not something is really wrong with non stop advertising of it. If a plague was so deadly do you think people need non stop reminders from commercials using famous athletes and actors??? No. Let life go on already.

  4. Please explain why after covid you need to get antibody testing to prove immunity while after vaccination (which does not produce immunity in parts or the population), you are assumed safe.
    Also please explain why vaccines are being given to teenagers (and soon kids) when the side effects of the vaccine for young people are a lot worse than the actual virus. Please don’t say to prevent transmission as the CDC clearly states that it is not known if the covid vaccine prevents transmission and it is still unknown how many months vaccine immunity actually lasts for.

  5. There are many statements in this article which seem to be based on assumptions not scientific fact. In fact I am not even sure what a scientific fact is anymore; numbers are constantly being manipulated, studies are proven and then retracted, other studies are censored and discounted, guidelines are senseless and inconsistent…. Science is not my religion.

  6. Lies, lies and more lies. To say that man-made immunity is better than natural immunity is blatantly false and you have no proof. In fact, the stories are pouring in of people who got the shot and then got covid. So no, the vaccine doesn’t provide perfect protection. Not even close. Doctors need to take more responsibility and be held accountable for each injury, hospitalization and death they caused by pushing an experimental product.
    Hashem in His infinite wisdom created a perfectly functioning immune system. With the right support (Vit d, c, HCQ, zinc etc), the body can overcome covid.

    • So let me understand… We don’t need any vaccines because Hashem created a “perfectly functioning immune system”. But then you say that Hashem needs us to give it “the right support”? Obviously, you then agree that we need to do some hishtadlus. Why then, do you feel that a vaccine that is recommended by the vast majority of all doctors (including the doctors of out community) is not the correct hishtadlus and “the right support” for us???

  7. Vaccination is not 100 percent against the Brazilian and s African strain as health ministry in israel reports. Also entire nursing home in beersheba got infected with s African strain after 1 month after vaccination. All asymptomatic. Reports of over 400 reflections in israel have been reported mostly asymptomatic. Even assymptomatics have an unknown of passing on to others (most likely) and long haul covid effects are unknown but could pose other health concerns.

    • Moderna is working on a vaccine for variants which will be an additional bootster, so apparently they don’t think the vaccines protect well enough against variants. On the other hand, there are medications that are still working against all variants in America.

  8. @ Loops why not leave things to the experts. You should not go by your own experience (which might be a random variable), rather go by evidence based info. based on reliable data. Go study statistics and then decide if your experience should be relied upon.

  9. Seems like a lot of people in the comment section think they are medical experts. You have to wonder why people would reject something that is our only way out of this pandemic. It’s called the Yetzer Harah.
    To all those people who spread information that will dissuade people from getting the vaccine, you have to take achrayis for your words. Someone’s life might be lost because you convinced them not to take the vaccine.

  10. Vaccine hesitancy is not coming from misinformation. It is coming form TRUE stories that people are hearing from REAL people. People are not just trusting pfizer which has “negios” or “fauxi”. Any doctor who could tell you that they know these vaccines are definitely safe are FLAT OUT LYING. THere is no long term data on these vaccines and there are many worrying facts about them coming to light already. Many respected and reliable doctors as well as Rabbanim have said to WAIT until more data comes out and we know definitively that these vaccines do NOT in fact cause serious life threatening issues, and fertility. There are safe and effective treatments for COVID in the meantime. Hashem should open people’s eyes to the truth and protect all of klal yisroel.

  11. Regarding how long immunity lasts after the vaccination. I read a study just recently about the front line medical personnel in Sheba hospital in Ramat Gan, who were one of the first group of people to be vaccinated in Israel. They took the vaccine back in Dec & Jan. They kept on taking serological tests to see how long the antibodies would last. The last test showed such a LOW level of antibodies, that it looked like they were unvaccinated! Of course the study hasten to add that all these medical workers are fully protected regardless, bec after all they were vaccinated. I’m not arguing with the results of this study, but why do you doctors continue to claim that antibodies after a vaccine last much longer than natural antibodies, when this clearly does NOT always seem be the case??? Why is the medical establishment so ambivalent regarding natural antibodies when the reality does not bear out what they are saying? I had a bad case of Covid last March & tested for antibodies this past Jan & still had a good number of antibodies. We would have much more trust in what the doctors are saying if they would be more truthful & wouldn’t just parrot the CDC & Dr. Fauci.

  12. “The vaccine wasn’t made for covid, covid was made for the vaccine.”
    Author not known but received in a what’s app forward. Never truer words.

  13. Sorry. CDC has absolutely NO credibility in my eyes. Of course nobody wants to die. Of course nobody wants to put themselves at risk. Let us decide ourselves how we want to keep ourselves safe, without the influence of a power hungry, politically motivated organization.

  14. It’s ridiculous to discuss so called cure and prevention rates when the actual infection rate of Covid-19 is just about the same: average 95-97%.

    Why is there a vaccine in the first place?

  15. To those who made comments here ;I don’t know which doctors you are referring to. 99% of doctors in the US advise per the CDC guidance that we should take the vaccine and that it is safe and effective. Why do you choose to listen to the other one percent?

    • FIrst of all, a lot more than 1% are warning about and not taking this vaccine even with great cost to themselves and under tremendous pressure. Even more feel the same way, but are being removed from socail media and others are scared to lose their job. Second of all, since the government and the CDC have lied too many times about things like HCQ and the true fatality rates from COVID, etc. that at this point, someone who blindly follows the CDC and doesn’t think for themselves has no credibility.

  16. Some posters continue to confuse their Google searches and hearsay stories with real medical and scientific education, experience, and knowledge.
    If you insist on so doing, kindly refrain from spreading your unqualified opinions, to which some other misguided souls may sadly pay attention.
    Besides, the physicians listed are all well known and established, while Anonymous, Loopey, “Emes”, and suchlike others are basically hiding behind assumed screen names, and keep spreading their stupidity.

    • Did even read the comments these people wrote? Sometimes people without lmedical degress also have brains, experience and solid opinions — even more so than people who are just regurgitating what the CDC and Fauci say.

  17. There are a lot of comments here from misguided people, but the reality is that the vast majority of people follow their doctors and do what’s right. It’s unfortunate how much noise empty drums make, but it’s only when drums are hollow that they make so much noise.
    The rest of us do what’s right following our leaders and doctors and putting our trust in the one who is always in charge to protect us when we do the right thing.

  18. We dont trust doctors or any professionals blindly. We hear what they say and then think about whether it makes sense. Doctors have made mistakes in the passed which is why they have such costly insurance. There is no liabilty from this vaccine so they could say and do what they want. Sometimes we get a second opinion. Sometimes after seeing a doctor, we discuss it with referral agencies or friends who have had similar incidents. When its a something simple, we could follow blindly == but when its’ something very serious and potentially dangerous, why would we just “trust”. without thinking it through.

  19. Is it known yet how long the immunity from COVID lasts? Is it known yet how long immunity lasts from the vaccine? Is it known yet how effective the vaccines are against all variants including future ones? Obviously, doctors are not neviim.

    • For pikuach nefesh you can’t rely on heresay. Many adverse events have been reported since the initial psak to R’ Chaim. You need to ask your own shayla bec. in America there are many effective and safe treatments for COVID and the risks are already coming to light….most people are not even at risk for COVID

  20. If anyone ever studied shaar emuna and Bitachon in chovos halevavos they would know that nothing in this world has the power to make a person sick or heal a person unless it is willed from Hashem. This world is run according to hishtadlus and Hester panim – Hashem works in the so called “natural” way. That’s the nisayon of this world- recognizing that everything is dictated from above even though is all seems so natural. Therefore as we all know we must do hishtadlus in order to keep ourselves protected because that’s the way Hkbh is manhig this world. That does not determine the outcome, if someone is meant to get sick they will, with or without the vaccine and if someone is meant to stay healthy they will too. The vaccine should be viewed as “sugar water” there is nothing in there it is only Hashem’s power that has the koach to keep us safe. Taking the vaccine is only our form of hishtadlus which we are mechuyav to do.

  21. For pikuach nefesh you can’t rely on heresay. Many adverse events have been reported since the initial psak to R’ Chaim. You need to ask your own shayla bec. in America there are many effective and safe treatments for COVID and the risks are already coming to light….most people are not even at risk for COVID

  22. Did R’ Chaim give this psak to you? Recently? DId you hear it first hand? R CHaim’s psak was publicized via the media, it was asked early on in the pandemic when the only information we had was from pfizer who has negios. Now there is a lot more infor about the real adverse events people are experiencing. We don’t even know how the psak was asked and whether r’ Chaim meant it for everyone in every place and every situation. AMerica has access to alot of treatments for covid that ISrael was blocking from its citizens. ASK YOUR OWN RAV after researching the dangers of the vaccine. YOu can start with VAERS and move on from there to the fact that there are no LONG TERM studies on these vaccines.. AND most people are not even high risk for COVID

  23. I am sorry to day but a lot of professional info is being based on the results coming from Israel. Unfortunately, the Israeli info is grossly inaccurate and what is actually happening is being ignored and not reported. Two big Rabbanim who coincidently contracted COVID for the first time a Someone in my neighborhood in Yerushalayim had the same thing happen to him R”L, got terribly sick after two vaccines and died soon afterwards. My old neighbor, who although elderly, was healthy his entire life, took the vaccine, and a couple of weeks later got a heart attack and died, with no history of heart problems. Too many coincidences. PLEASE, everyone, ask your doctor, do not rely on signs and e-messages for medical advice. A vaccine is not different from a prescription drug and should not be taken without asking your doctor! Ask your Rav who you always ask important shailos for a final psak.

  24. Absolutely unabashedly unashamed about using my brain. It’s good to think every now and then and not just blindly follow pop culture.

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