In April of 2020, shortly after lockdowns were implemented, I remember talking to someone about this new pandemic and how it would affect our everyday lives. She told me she had heard that we might not be through the worst of it until July, and I thought, "No way we are going to be doing this for four months!" Almost a year later there finally seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. New COVID cases seem to be on the decline and the strain on hospitals appears to be diminishing. That is all good news. It would seem that the introduction of multiple new vaccines into the market is one of the chief factors in this decline. However, there is still a significant amount of confusion, especially amongst Christians, when it comes to vaccines. Are they safe? Are they ethical? Are they effective? Should I get one? When can I get one? Of course, the answers to these questions often depend on who you ask.
For the past year, one of my chief resources for all things COVID related has been our own Dr. Chris Wilbers. Chris' wisdom and guidance have been instrumental in our ability at All Saints to continue operating safely over the past year. Lately many people have come to me with questions about the COVID vaccine, and while I enjoyed science classes in high school and college I am by no means an expert. So, I have asked Dr. Wilbers to help answer some of these questions for us. Below you will find an article that Chris has submitted, which is an adaptation of an article from the BioLogos.org website, which can be found by clicking here.
I am also including a list of resources that Dr. Wilbers has put together on vaccination eligibility and how to sign up to receive a vaccine.
Finally, it is important for people to understand that this is meant to be a resource and not a position paper. I have talked to many in our congregation who have received or are waiting to receive a vaccine, and I have talked to others who are not planning to be vaccinated. This is a decision that each person needs to make in consultation with his or her own doctor. Our goal here is to provide information and guidance from both a theological and medical perspective. The opinions expressed in the following article are those of Dr. Wilbers and not necessarily the official stance of All Saints.
The Rev. Eric Zolner
Father Eric is a 3rd generation Anglican and the Rector of All Saints Anglican Church in Springfield, MO.