At the time of writing around 93 million people worldwide have contracted Coronavirus (myself included) and over two million have died. The true figures are probably much higher. It’s thrown the world into lockdown and does look like it will have some long-lasting consequences to how we live and work.
However, as bad as it has been for some, of all the problem’s the world faces and there are a few. Tackling the coronavirus may be the easiest of them all. Firstly because it is a Challenge we are uniquely well equipped to deal with. With huge financial resources, medical care and research the world was able to produce not one but multiple Vaccines that seem to be effective against the virus. That this has been done at an unprecedented rate has highlighted the lack of fight against other viruses but it remains a remarkable accomplishment. In about a year a new disease was identified, sequenced and vaccines created. Already the huge logistical challenges of vaccinating whole populations are underway (with some challenges)and some of those countries will soon return to ‘normal life’. Israel looks like it will be first.
The most significant challenge may prove to be persuading citizens to be vaccinated (at least in those countries where they will be given a choice).
Fortunately as Christians we have numerous experts that have done the hard work of thinking through the ethical issues and concerns that the vaccine has raised for some. We can also compare the questions, answers and sources (this relates to a bigger & thornier problem we face – more on that soon) from the various experts to see if they’re saying the same things. Is there consensus from trusted sources?
- 3 Bioethical Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines – From Christianity Today
- COVID Vaccines and Fetal Cells: What’s Ethical and What Isn’t? – Randy Alcorn’s credentials as an anti-abortion campaigner are unquestioned and if he thought there was a problem, well this article will tell you.
- I’ve really appreciated the work of John Wyatt here and he has become one of my go-to sources on medical ethics questions. FAQ: Coronavirus vaccines Frequently Asked Questions & More questions answered on coronavirus vaccines. We are fortunate that the Emeritus Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics, Ethics & Perinatology at University College London is someone serving the body of Christ so well.
The biggest challenge is not logistical, technical, or financial when it comes to dealing with this virus. The biggest challenge is trust. In Sweden, there was a failed vaccine roll out against swine flu a decade ago and a whole lot of children developed narcolepsy. Trust was damaged that affects confidence today. But some countries are facing a much deeper malaise of mistrust of government and international bodies and big organisations like ‘big pharma’. There is a diminished sense of trust in truth. What we see with the coronavirus is mild compared to other issues and people, whatever their professed scepticism tend to still take a vaccine if they think it will save their life or grandma’s.
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