The AJN has partnered with the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies on a new campaign to encourage as many people as possible in the Jewish community to get vaccinated during August.

The Australian Jewish News
August 9, 2021

PEOPLE of all ages with COVID are being admitted to hospital “right now”, Jewish GP and media personality Ginni Mansberg told The AJN.

“They will not have any visits from anybody that they know. They’ll see healthcare workers, cleaners… but those people almost see them as being radioactive because they’re giving off huge amounts of virus,” she said.

“No one is going to sit there and hold their hand or talk to them about their fears, their dreams, their regrets, their hopes. When you’re feeling sick, you can’t breathe very well and you’re feeling vulnerable, that just compounds an already ghastly situation.

“What terrifies me more than anything is the thought of someone that I love and care about being in that situation.”

The AJN has partnered with the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) on a new campaign to encourage as many people as possible in the Jewish community to get vaccinated during August.

Communal identities will join doctors, immunologists and Jewish health workers in giving testimonials about the importance of getting jabbed, while dispelling the myths around vaccination and AstraZeneca in particular.

Through the Keep NSW Safe coalition, JBOD will also get the message out to more than 40 other religious and cultural groups.

Mansberg, who is one of the voices in the campaign, pointed out that the risk of dying of a blood clot from AstraZeneca in Australia “is about one in a million”.

“Right now, in Sydney the odds of getting COVID are much higher. And while lots of people say, ‘Well, I never go anywhere’, they never go anywhere except for the post office, except for the supermarket, except to drop mum off a challah on Friday.

“You do go places. Everywhere that you go that is not in your lounge room is a risk to you.”

Noting AstraZeneca is 92 per cent effective against hospitalisation, she said, “The best vaccine for you is the one you can get. Anybody in NSW can get the AstraZeneca vaccine right now.”

AJN publisher Robert Magid, who had AstraZeneca, said, “It is our duty to protect ourselves and those close to us by being inoculated promptly. The goal is to reach herd immunity so we can return to normality, meet in public, return to work, travel interstate and overseas, engage in social activity as well as sport and entertainment. You have an important role to play.”

JBOD president Lesli Berger said the sooner people are vaccinated, “the sooner we can return to normality. What we need to do as a community is encourage those who are vaccine hesitant and combat the misinformation and disinformation with the real facts.”

JBOD CEO Darren Bark said it is important to be able to access the right information. “This is why JBOD has partnered with The AJN to ensure the best possible information is available to the widest reaches of our community.”

Federal MP Julian Leeser, who features in the campaign, said vaccination “is our duty as Australians”.

Emanuel Synagogue’s Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio said the science shows “vaccines save lives”.

“It is our way to do what we can to enable our communities to return to being in person, to gather again in our synagogues and pray, socialise, learn and connect,” she added.

The Great Synagogue’s Rabbi Benjamin Elton said, “It’s now clear that the route out of lockdown and to lasting safety from COVID is through the vaccines.”

Jewish author Joanne Fedler, another campaign voice, said, “Last year, a friend that I was at school with died of COVID, he was my age with a young son.

“I watched his funeral on Zoom.

“In the last four months, two other guys that I knew from school died. I guess if you don’t know somebody who’s died, you can afford to have some sort of complacency. I will do whatever I can to try and encourage people to go and get vaccinated.”