“The third moral principle Christians must consider deals with efficacy and safety of the vaccine.”
The medical community has expressed great confidence in the vaccine. However, Mohler says that as with any other vaccination, those who have a history of allergic reactions should carefully consider whether or not to take this one. Additionally, the COVID vaccine won’t be failproof, either, but for most it will be safe and effective. This variance in reaction is not unlike other treatments, though. Mohler writes: “With any serious sickness or disease, we often have to weigh this treatment over that treatment; this surgery over this therapy. Nothing in a fallen world is ever easy. We must, under the circumstances, do that which appears to be the most right, the safest, and the most good.”
“The fourth issue is whether or not a medical treatment is made mandatory by governing authority.”
Mohler says he thinks it “doubtful” the U.S. government will make a COVID vaccine mandatory. Although, he says this with a caveat. The government at the federal and state level do exercise certain authorities that could essentially mandate vaccination in certain situations. For instance, the federal government controls who can enter and stay in the U.S. and who can fly on a plane. State governments control who can attend public schools. These entities could decide, for instance, that one can’t fly on a plane or attend public school without being vaccinated.
“The fifth principle for Christians thinking about vaccines deals with the common good—the issue of love of neighbor.”
Mohler explained that deciding to take the vaccine or not is not exclusively a matter of one’s personal health. Rather, Christians should consider the fact that “There are third parties—people who cannot take the vaccine or do not yet have access to it that could still be infected by those who refuse to take the vaccine.”
Thinking of others while taking a vaccine falls under the “common good argument” that Mohler says is akin to loving our neighbors as ourselves. Put another way, it falls under the second greatest commandment Jesus gave us.
“The sixth principle pertains to the integrity of the family and the authority of parents.”
Here Mohler argues that Christians ought to be “wary” of government intrusion into the family. In the case of the COVID vaccine, Mohler says “we should stand against government policies that give vaccines to children and adolescents over and against (or without the knowledge of) the convictions of their parents.”
“I will seek to encourage others to take the vaccine,” Mohler writes. However, he points out that encouragement is different from coercion. No one, he believes, should be coerced into taking the vaccine.
“The seventh and final moral principle has to do with access and priority,” Mohler writes.
Simply put, those at greatest risk and those serving on the front lines, such as healthcare workers, should be the ones to receive the vaccine first.
In conclusion, Mohler points back to the extraordinary accomplishment the vaccine represents. “The creation of vaccines in such a short amount of time is something to be celebrated.”