Should I get the Covid Vaccine? Is it morally compromised?

Close-up medical syringe with a vaccine.

Should I get the Covid Vaccine? Is it morally compromised? 

Such are the questions we must ask these days.  But as millions of Americans que up for vaccination, I think it’s worth asking.  The big conundrum is the fact that some vaccines on the market these days either contain or are developed from fetal cell lines that came from abortions.  And since abortion is a direct violation of the 5th commandment, this is an issue that cannot be ignored. 

Of course, this is not to say that the fetal cells in question have been directly harvested from an abortion… rather they are copies of copies of copies of cells that came from aborted fetuses in the 1960’s and 1970’s. These cells have been replicated for decades and used to advance scientific research. I am thankful that President Trump ended the research on fetal material during his presidency, but these particular cell lines used in manufacturing vaccines were not part of that ban, since the individual cells themselves are not from an abortion but, as I mentioned, are copies of copies of copies of cells that were aborted decades ago.  This  fact makes this issue a little less black and white and whole lot grey!

What does this mean concerning the Covid vaccines?  Well, it means that each of the vaccines on the market have been developed using these cellular lines. That cannot be denied.  But some companies more so than others. For example, the  Moderna and Pfizer vaccines only used fetal cellular lines to test their vaccines for effectiveness.  These companies did not use fetal cells in the production process itself.  Johnson & Johnson, on the other hand, did use fetal cellular lines to produce their vaccine. While their vaccine doesn’t directly contain fetal material, it was the cells themselves that help replicated the vaccine in the production process. 

Let me repeat that THANKFULLY, none of the vaccines on the market actually contain fetal cellular material.  But, again, Johnson & Johnson’s is clearly the more ethically compromised of the three. 

I strongly encourage you to look into this matter before choosing to get vaccinated.  Obviously, this is an important issue and a very personal one.  The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod does not have an official doctrinal position on vaccines and the Holy Scriptures do not speak directly to vaccinations.  This makes this an issue, then, of individual conscience.  Thus as a pastor I can only counsel people in their decision making concerning Covid vaccination; I cannot forbid. 

I can say that for me personally, the fact that all three of these vaccines are connected to science that has been advanced by the evil of abortion, leaves me in the position of choosing NOT to be vaccinated—not me or my family.  But this decision is my own and others will have to wrestle with the issue through much prayer. 

I do not write this article to condemn, only to inform.  There are numerous articles on the mainstream media that currently address the controversial new Johnson&Johnson vaccine.  I urge you to read up on it.  Here are two links from the LCMS that might help: 

A statement from LCMS President, Matthew Harrison

A vaccination fact sheet published by the LCMS

Most church bodies (especially the Roman Catholic Church) are urging their parishioners to use Moderna or Pfizer vaccines rather than the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, because these vaccines are less morally compromised because these companies didn’t directly use fetal cell lines to manufacture their vaccines, they only tested the finished product on fetal cells to determine its effectiveness. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.  In addition, I urge all Christians toward patience and love for others when talking about this issue with those who might disagree.  And pray, pray, pray for Christians everywhere!

In the words of a beautiful hymn:

Where charity and love prevail

There God is ever found;

Brought here together by Christ’s love

By love are we thus bound.

Forgive we now each other’s faults

As we our faults confess,

And let us love each other well

In Christian holiness.

Let us recall that in our midst

Dwells Christ, His only Son;

As members of His body joined

We are in Him made one.

For love excludes no race or clan

That names the Savior’s name;

His family embraces all

Whose Father is the same.

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