Should we vaccinate our children for COVID-19?

Would this be included in our duties as Christian parents?  Or anything that Jesus taught?

Clarify Share Report Asked March 15 2022 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Although vaccines against diseases were not available in biblical times, the Bible consistently views the human body (in the case of Christians) as a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) that is to be nurtured and cared for as the gift from God that it is, especially so that Christians can be of maximum health, effectiveness, and length of life in bringing others to Christ.

In my view, humans' God-given intelligence in developing and administering vaccines (of which the COVID-19 vaccine is just the latest), and using (and even requiring) them in the interest of overall public health, is a logical and justifiable part of this same effort that has saved millions of lives over hundreds of years. 

I do not recall the same polarization that has developed over the COVID-19 vaccine having been present for other vaccines that have been developed (even during my own lifetime), such as polio, measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria, and that are now routinely required and administered as a part of standard medical care.

I am not currently in a situation of having children or grandchildren of an age to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but, speaking for myself, I have been fully vaccinated and boosted with respect to COVID-19, and if I had such a responsibility for others in my household, I would do it unhesitatingly based on both public health and religious considerations.

March 17 2022 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
We should bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. That is most important, i.e. to protect them spiritually. 

We also know that we are called to physically provide for our children by meeting their needs for food, clothing, a roof over their heads, and reliable love. Jesus assumes this caring state when he says, “Which of you, when his child asks for bread, gives him a stone?” (Matthew 7, Sermon on the Mount). But providing for our children also involves protecting them physically, to the best of our ability. While we ultimately depend on God for His providential care (as mentioned earlier) parents are called to use practical wisdom to protect our children from all types of injury. We work hard at keeping them from running with scissors, playing with guns, getting out of their car seat while we drive, fighting with others, standing too close to a cliff edge, running across the road without looking, etc. But we must remember that protection also includes protecting them from injuries caused by disease. 

The second great commandment of Jesus is “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (the first being to love God totally). When asked to define this neighbor, Jesus used the example of a man who was not a family member, not a compatible believer, not a Jewish synagogue member, and not even a local person. He was a foreigner whose home was somewhere else and whose ethnicity and beliefs were different from the man he was helping. Jesus meant “neighbor” to be widely inclusive, not just limited to people we know. I also think it is telling that Jesus’ neighborly example showed the Good Samaritan carrying out his love within a risky-to-himself, non-benefit-to-himself, medical need situation. So what might “loving our neighbor” mean when we are considering whether to vaccinate our children against COVID-19?

For our close neighbors, it means considering whether our actions are able to protect the unseen numbers of “immune-needy” or susceptible people around us from illness or death, and their families from the educational, economic, and bereavement upheavals that can result from COVID-19 infections,

A recent study, carefully conducted over a 6-month period, was published online October 8, 2021 and later in the JAMA Pediatric magazine, in which regular weekly testing confirms that children do indeed become infected at the same rate as adults, but that a larger proportion of children do not show any symptoms. 52% of infections in the 1-4 age group, 50% of infections in the 5-11 age group, and 45% of infections in the 12-17 age group (compared to only 12% of adults) are asymptomatic. That means that only one out of every two children who become infected may not show it.

This is a significant finding when we are considering the community spread of COVID-19. For example, a school bus driver may catch Covid from an infected child who has no symptoms and pass it on to her elderly mother with heart disease. While the child remains fine, one or both of them may have a bad result from the infection. Obviously, we are not able, nor should we expect to be able, to control all events in our neighbor’s lives, but this disease communicability has to be taken into account in our decision about vaccinating our children. –Dr. Terrill Wade

I've done it. Have you?

March 19 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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