Anti-vaxxer family changes course after pregnant Israeli woman’s death

“When it reaches you, you understand that you have to think differently,” said Ben Shitrit’s brother-in-law, who ran an anti-vaxxer Facebook page.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

The tragic death of a 32-year-old pregnant mother of four from Covid-19 has become a sobering tale for anti-vaxxers as it now emerges that the woman opposed the corona vaccine along with members of her family, one of whom even ran an anti-vaxxer Facebook page.

The victim, Osnat Ben Shitrit of Givat Zeev near Jerusalem, was rushed to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital on Tuesday when she had difficulty breathing. Her condition deteriorated on Saturday, the hospital says. Doctors performed a caesarean section to save the baby but the fetus didn’t survive. Osnat was buried on Sunday.

In a statement, the hospital described the staff as in “emotional turmoil” over the event.

Ben Shitrit is part of a new Covid phenomenon involving pregnant women that doctors have been investigating since at least January.

“This is a more violent and severe wave of corona than its predecessors, and it also affects the young population of pregnant women,” Prof. Arnon Wiznitzer, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Beilinson Hospital, said at the time.

There are 50 new mothers and pregnant women hospitalized in Israel with 19 in serious condition, eight in critical condition and seven on respirators, Kan News reports on Sunday.

What adds to the family’s pain is that Ben Shitrit and some among her family members had opposed vaccinations. Her relatives have changed their tune since the tragedy.

Ben Shitrit’s brother-in-law told Kan News, “I founded one of the most successful groups on Facebook against the vaccines. After this case I disabled it. When it reaches you, you understand that you have to think differently.”

Ben Shitrit’s two sisters told Kan that was she afraid to enter the hospital. “When she arrived at the hospital her condition was already critical. We call on everyone to go get vaccinated now,” they said.

Covid has taken a toll on Ben Shitrit’s neighborhood. A neighbor, 43, a mother of eight, died from corona in January. Osnat was recorded at the time in tears, saying, “She was at the end of the corona. She was already recovering and feeling relatively well and had a cardiac arrest. It was horrible. You do not understand what a funeral it was yesterday… It is impossible to describe in words.”