February 2021

February 2021

A Pastor’s Perspective on the COVID-19 Vaccine

Since we first entered the coronavirus pandemic early last year, we have been told consistently that an effective vaccine and the establishment of “herd immunity” is what will ultimately get us out of it. Now, several vaccines have been developed and are in the process of being deployed or approved. I am aware that some of our members have questions about this vaccine and whether they should get it if it becomes available to them. Please allow me to share my own perspective on the matter.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine ethical? Back in the 1960s, two children who were killed by abortion had their cells harvested and propagated as “cell lines.” Tragically, for many years, pharmaceutical companies have used these cell lines to develop vaccines. Though these children were killed for other reasons, and not for the sake of vaccine development, we Christians do not want to benefit from medical advances made as a result of the killing of children. Thankfully, the COVID-19 vaccines were developed under President Donald Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed.” The Trump administration, as the most pro-life administration in American history, prioritized ethically developed vaccines for funding. Some vaccines that are still awaiting approval did use cell lines from aborted children in their development. These include the vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Once those vaccines become available, I would discourage any Christian from receiving them. But the vaccines that are currently available, those from Pfizer and Moderna, were developed without using these cell lines. At some stages, the cell lines were unfortunately used for testing of the developed vaccine, but the vaccines themselves were developed and produced ethically. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has offered a statement on this matter, but the statement simply leaves everything up to the individual conscience. I will tell you as your pastor that I believe you can receive the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna without ethical concerns.

God's Blessings!

Pastor Neuendorf