Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Corona: Vaccine & Contraception

22 December, 2020

Question:

I’m a nurse, so beH will be in line for a vaccination soon. But does that mean using contraception for a while? We’ve been trying to conceive, for the first time. Is it mutar to go on a contraceptive for this? And if it is, what should we use? I was on the pill last year, but i don’t think it would make sense to get back on it just for a couple of months.


Answer:

Halacha follows medical consensus on this type of issue. During the pandemic, medical knowledge is constantly changing, especially with the emergence of new variants and the development of new vaccines. Therefore, as with all medical questions, it is best to consult with your physician regarding your personal situation.

Today, there is growing concern that Covid 19, especially the new variants, presents special risks to pregnant women and thus there is good reason to use contraception until you are fully vaccinated.

Rav Yehuda Henkin z”l, our site’s founding rabbinic supervisor, permitted couples to use contraception until after vaccination has taken full effect. This has now also become a public health recommendation in a number of countries, including the UK and Israel. Therefore, you are halachically permitted to use contraception for this purpose, even if you have not yet fulfilled the mitzva of peru urevu.

On the other hand, there is no medical or halachic obligation to delay pregnancy until you have been vaccinated. If you do conceive before vaccination, it is possible to be vaccinated during pregnancy. You should discuss the timing with your healthcare provider.

Regarding contraceptive methods, we suggest that you look at our section on Family Planning, starting with Choosing a Method, and consult your physician. The usual halachic considerations in choosing a contraceptive method apply here. Please don’t hesitate to follow up with us.

We wish you continued good health!

This response was updated on 18 February, 2021, in consultation with our medical supervisor, Dr. Deena Zimmerman, according to the current recommendations of Israel’s Ministry of Health.


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