Why some Orthodox Jewish women won’t get vaccinated

New York City will spend up to $ 60 million, according to an estimate from health officials, on a vaccination program aimed at tackling hesitation and access issues. But in many Orthodox neighborhoods, the messages of respected rabbis resonate more.

In Israel, where restrictions on coronaviruses have ended now that the majority of the population has been vaccinated, state officials have faced similar difficulties with the ultra-Orthodox community. However, community representatives carried out an effective campaign of counter messages.

But these messages did not have as much success in New York.

In Brooklyn’s Borough Park zip code, which has a large Orthodox community, 28.5% of the population is fully vaccinated, compared to 45.7% for all city residents. In the South Williamsburg zip code, where several major Hasidic sects are concentrated, 35% of the population is fully vaccinated. In East Crown Heights, where the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic sect is located, that number is 30.5%.

Patrick Gallahue, a spokesperson for the city’s health ministry, said the agency ran ads in local Orthodox media, worked with community organizations to host pop-up supplemental vaccination sites and partnered with trusted organizations like Hatzalah, an orthodox ambulance corps run by volunteers, to educate community members.

Other organizations in the region have made similar efforts.

John Lyon, spokesperson for the Rockland County Health Department, said fertility was the main concern of ultra-Orthodox residents when it came to receiving the coronavirus vaccine. Rockland County, home to 90,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews, was particularly affected by the virus last year.

Mr Lyon said the department “works through the delicate and personal process” of responding to fertility-related questions by partnering with local health providers and sending envoys to community rabbis, who have the best chance. affect the results of the community.

In April, the Jewish Orthodox Women’s Medical Association hosted three live coronavirus vaccine webinars for Orthodox women, doulas, prenuptial counselors, and attendants in ritual baths or mikvah, involving a total of nearly 5,000 participants.

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