The grandson of 80-year-old Alexander Breicher, who recently passed away due to complications from coronavirus, says his grandfather vehemently refused to get himself inoculated due to alleged anti-vaccine propaganda being spread on social networks by Russia.
Breicher, a Russian-born Holocaust survivor who immigrated to the U.S. decades ago, apparently refused the coronavirus inoculation after reading posts on social media which claim that the only safe coronavirus vaccine was the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine.
"The Russians are telling Soviet Union immigrants around the world that they should only get vaccinated with Sputnik V, because Pfizer's vaccine causes fertility problems and lots of other issues,” says Breicher’s grandson, David Magen.
"This phenomenon is also happening in Israel,” warns Magen. “Fictitious profiles and bots on social networks enter Russian-speaking groups with members people from the Commonwealth of Independent States and post fake responses" warning against having the Pfizer vaccine.
According to Magen, he attempted to convince his grandfather to receive the inoculation after learning he did not plan to receive the potentially life-saving vaccine.
“He was a man with many illnesses, we used to warn him that if he contracted the coronavirus he would surely die,” says Magen. “He would then say that he bested the ghetto and survived the Holocaust, and so he will also survive the coronavirus. I would tell him that the pandemic doesn’t care if he is a Holocaust survivor.”
Magen adds that his grandfather’s main reason for not getting inoculated was the alleged long-term effects of the vaccine.
“We tried to explain to him that he was 80, and so long term effects are of no consequence to him,” says Magen.
“We wanted to have him with us for a little while longer, but he always had heaps of excuses for not getting the vaccine, all of which he heard on social media or the television. That is why I tell everyone: do not listen to any of this anti-vaccine nonsense being spread around.”