August 6, 2020
With the world waiting in uncertainty, churches and businesses closed, travel and freedom of movement frozen, and entire lives put on hold, the desire for a quick solution to the collective nightmare known as the coronavirus is very strong.
Experts throughout the scientific community, however, are warning about the dangers of an immature and not significantly tested vaccine, which could pose more harm and lead to increased deaths, especially in children, as political pressure is mounting for a fast-tracked vaccine, and a petition against mandatory vaccination is circulating.
It was reported that among advocates of a cautious, more thoroughly tested approach to a vaccine, is lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy. He was quoted on Lifesite News as saying:
“The Moderna vaccine, which is the lead candidate, skipped the animal testing altogether. [The Moderna vaccine was tested] on 45 people. They had a high-dose group of 15 people, a medium-dose group of 15 people, and a low growth group of 15 people. In the low-dose group, one of the people was so sick from the vaccine they had to be hospitalized,” he explained. “That’s six percent. In the high-dose group, three people got so sick they had to be hospitalized. That’s twenty percent…any other medicine…that had that kind of profile in its original phase-one study would be [dead on arrival]. No medical product in the world would be able to go forward with the profile that Moderna has,” he reiterated.
In addition to medical concerns, there are serious moral and ethical issues which concern all Christians, as some reports have indicated that certain vaccines could be made using cells from aborted babies. Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Strickland has written several times on this issue, making a point which all Orthodox Christians can agree on. Specifically, he said in a tweet:
“I renew my call that we reject any vaccine that is developed using aborted children. Even if it originated decades ago it still means a child’s life was ended before it was born & then their body was used as spare parts. We will never end abortion if we do not END THIS EVIL!
He had written earlier in April that, “Tragically, people are not aware of or have chosen to turn a blind eye to the advances in medical science which allow vaccines to be developed with the wholesale use of aborted children’s bodies.” Strickland stressed that just because “the crime of abortion is considered legal in our nation does not mean it is morally permissible to use the dead bodies of these children to cure a global pandemic. Emphatically, this practice is evil.”
Abortion is, of course, in Orthodox moral theology is murder, and forbidden from the earliest times, including by the apostolic fathers verbatim in the Didache, and even by wise pagans in the ancient world such as Hippocrates, whose oath doctors are sworn to uphold.
This moral issue, as well as the medical questions, raise several concerns about suggested vaccines, and those who promote the idea of mandatory vaccinations, and the various systems of control that implies. It should be noted that simply being opposed to a specific vaccine, its testing standards, the materials it’s made from—in the case of cells from aborted babies—or the political mandates around them is not equivalent to being a so-called “antivaxxer”, and opposing even those long-proven vaccines from many decades ago. It is perfectly natural to distrust international pharmaceutical conglomerates, and every human being naturally should have the right to control what is put into their own bodies, especially if it violates Christian medical ethics.
All pious Orthodox Christians would naturally reject anything which promotes the murder of babies, or the sale of their body parts.
As Ukraine is preparing to receive a vaccine supported by the WHO, the World Bank, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, there have been many similar questions raised in Ukrainian society recently.
In particular, in the Holy Dormition Pochaev Lavra, where the feast of the Pochaev Icon was recently celebrated, many warnings were given about such issues which violate Orthodox Christian medical ethics and moral theology including such questionable vaccine practices.