Rav Chaim: ‘We Must Vaccinate Children’

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky at his home in the city of Bnei Brak, on December 26, 2019. Photo by Yaakov Nahumi/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** øá çééí ÷ðééáñ÷é ìäúáøê áé÷åø ìåîã ñôø ÷ïøà áéú

BNEI BRAK (VINnews) — On Thursday, HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky instructed parents to vaccinate children, aged five and above, against COVID-19.

Rav Chaim came to that conclusion after meeting with top health officials at his home, amid a growing concern in Israel about a potential new wave.

The meeting was attended by Professor Ran Balicer, Chair of Israel’s National Experts Panel on COVID-19; Coronavirus Czar Professor Salman Zarka; and the Rav’s personal physician, Dr. Meshulam Hart.

The experts presented the latest data, including a recent increase in cases, as well the approval by the U.S. FDA to administer the Pfizer vaccine to kids aged five and over.

Rav Kanievsky examined the data with a specific focus on safety. He questioned whether the benefits and effectiveness of vaccinating children outweigh the risks associated with the vaccine, before arriving at the conclusion that children should be vaccinated.

In a video of the meeting, the Rav was asked by his grandson if people “are able to” give the vaccine to children, or if “they must”. He replied “They must.”

In addition, he gave a bracha for children who receive the vaccine to be blessed with good health, and for healthcare workers to have hatzlacha in their work.

This is the latest in a series of rulings intended to fight the spread of the pandemic. In the past, the Rav has instructed Yeshivos to close down in order to fight the spread, and he has told those with high risk to receive a booster.

The guidance comes amid growing concern in Israel over a potential fifth wave. During an interview with Kan News this week, Zarka warned that while some Israelis believe the pandemic is over, that may not be the case.

“The pandemic is still here,” he said, adding that the eligible citizens who have not yet received boosters “are not anti-vaxxers… maybe they falsely believe” that the danger is over.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz told Channel 12 News that he may recommend a fourth vaccine dose, if cases continue to climb.

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