CMI, vaccines, and vaccination

A nurse holds a phial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
A nurse holds a phial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy's Hospital in London, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. U.K. health authorities rolled out the first doses of a widely tested and independently reviewed COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, starting a global immunization program that is expected to gain momentum as more serums win approval. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)
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As a biblical, scientific or­ga­ni­za­tion, we often get asked by inquirers about our position on a range of related issues. One such issue is vaccinations. We realize that for some this is a highly charged issue that can engender strong emotions. Unfortunately, there is much confusion and even emotion, even in Christian circles, as a result of misinformation that is proliferated on the Internet. Often, with Christians, much of the thinking is driven by well-meaning, but misapplied biblical statements and, in some cases, even conspiratorial (anti-government or anti-establishment) constructs—an area outside of CMI’s purview.

CMI takes a generally pro-vaccination position, as the best trade-off in this fallen world, because the benefits overall greatly outweigh the harms. This is consistent with a Christian ministry, because disease and suffering are the results of the Curse at the Fall, and Jesus himself alleviated the effects of the Curse.

It is a scientific and historical fact that vaccines have saved millions of lives. Thus, as a part of our duty of care for our staff and supporters, we should support medical treatments with a proven record of high safety and effectiveness.

And at my suggestion, the CMI-US office, following the biblical principle of proper care for workers (Colossians 4:1, Ephesians 6:9), pays for influenza (‘flu’) shots for all employees and their dependent family members, if they choose to obtain them. The CMI-AU office has followed suit.

We think we have a duty-of-care to protect our families and also not to bring the ’flu back to the office to the rest of the staff, etc. Actually, even apart from the principle of care, it has a sound economic basis: just one or two employees off work for a week would cost the ministry (and thus its supporters) many times more than the cost of flu shots for all. Indeed, our speakers when on ministry are at greater risk than otherwise through shaking dozens of hands of well-wishers at ministry events.

Note that the influenza virus kills tens of thousands of people in the US alone every year, and statistics show that most of these victims are unvaccinated. It is not just a bad cold, even though sometimes a bad cold is misnamed ‘the flu’.

by Jonathan Sarfati

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