In recent decades, advances in medical science have led to the production of effective vaccines, the use of which has freed humanity from many debilitating and deadly infectious diseases. Reports indicate that the coronavirus vaccines currently being developed offer great promise for protecting individuals from, and helping to reduce transmission of, the virus. As to the advisability and efficacy of the various options that may become available, the friends should follow the counsel of medical and other scientific experts. (Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 8 December 2020)
An additional point that can be drawn to the attention of the believers is that the purpose of being vaccinated extends beyond the protection it affords the individual concerned. There is also an important social component; namely, that when a large enough proportion of the population is vaccinated, the spread of a disease amongst them is retarded, thereby protecting those who – for whatever reason – are unable to be vaccinated. The friends should therefore also weigh this social obligation as they make their decision on this matter. (Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, 26 February 2021)
In relation to your query about whether it would be appropriate for you to encourage the friends to be vaccinated, it would appear sufficient for you to advise them to follow the recommendations of reputable public health experts in your country. Ultimately, this is a matter for individuals to decide. (Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, 26 February 2021)
Although I’m not an anti-VAXXER, I have taken a conservative approach in the past, using homeopathic and essential oils to strengthen my immune system against viral and bacterial infections where possible, and have enjoyed good physical health as a result.
I appreciate vaccines and their effectiveness in eradicating many diseases that used to plague our society. I grew up in the polio epidemic and lost my aunt to it. My cousin, her son, survived, but has suffered with post-polio symptoms ever since.
When my son was a baby, he had all his shots, but when he was 10, he came down with red measles. We were immediately quarantined and the vaccine he’d been given 10 years earlier was discovered to have been part of a “bad batch”. They wanted to vaccinate him against it again. No! This was happening at the time when there seemed to be a link between vaccines and autism, and a friend’s son had recently been diagnosed with autism after getting vaccinated. So I’ve been cautious ever since. As a result, I admit that I am somewhat apprehensive and uncertain about whether to be vaccinated against COVID, and if so, which vaccine to have.
I’m in the cohort that’s being offered a vaccine that’s been banned in many countries, and if I was one year older or 9 years younger, I wouldn’t be given, which increases my anxiety tremendously. Of course, we’re being encouraged to take what’s being offered and not to shop around, and I understand this. There are shortages of the other vaccines, and priority has to be given to those waiting their second shots. I’m on a waiting list but because I live in a rural community, it’s a bit of a lottery as to who gets the vaccine and in what order. I’m not a front-line worker, nor do I have pre-existing health problem, so I’m content to wait my time until the decision becomes more clear.
While I was pondering all of this, someone sent me a couple of recent letters from the House of Justice, (relevant excerpts above) which makes my decision easier, because it’s a source I trust.
From these quotes I glean:
- It’s my decision whether or not to be vaccinated.
- In making my decision, I should follow the counsel of medical and other scientific experts and follow the recommendations of reputable public health experts in my country.
- In making my decision I should consider that this isn’t just about me – that I have a social obligation to my family, friends and neighbors.
- When a large enough proportion of the population is vaccinated, the spread of a disease amongst them is retarded and those who are unable to be vaccinated are also protected.
- Reports indicate that the coronavirus vaccines currently being developed offer great promise for protecting individuals from, and helping to reduce transmission of, the virus.
Getting clarity around this issue from a source I love, respect and trust, I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
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