By Dr. James Katz, MD, MPH

A very pleasant bubbe (grandmother) came to the Moderna vaccination clinic in Newton for her first of two shots. She was concerned side effects from her second dose of the Moderna vaccine, scheduled for March 25, might interfere with her outdoor Passover celebration scheduled for March 27?

I held up the syringe and said, “Mamaleh (young lady — which made her smile) and said, ”THIS SHOT IS PASSOVER!”

To placate her questioning eyes, I explained “You have had the Angel of Death lurking on your doorstep, that of your children, and your neighbors for a year. Two shots of this and you vanquish the Angel. You can travel, visit friends, and correct your daughter-in-law’s cooking in person!”

I held up the syringe and said, “Mamaleh, 'THIS SHOT IS PASSOVER!'” Share on X

The Passover dinner includes four questions (Fir Kashes) asked by the children, the last of which concerns the children of Israel obtaining freedom from bondage in Egypt. The bubbe smiled and said, “This vaccine will be last question of the Fir Kashes this year, “How do we gain freedom this year — vaccines! Vaccines will gain freedom for my grandchildren.” She had a tear in her eye.

I added, “You still will have to wear a mask.”

“Mask, shmask,” she said. “Freedom.”

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