Covid-19 Vaccine Must Be Exempt From “Religious Exemptions”

by Jay Joseph ‘22

One in ten Americans believe that getting a Covid-19 vaccine would violate their religious beliefs, a survey from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found. The survey also found that one in three unvaccinated Americans either have asked or plan to ask for a religious exemption to the vaccine. The majority of these people are evangelical Protestants who use two sets of religious reasons for refusing the vaccine. The first set is from conspiracy theories. For instance, getting the Covid-19 vaccine would violate religious beliefs because vaccines have aborted fetus cells (even though the Bible never explicitly mentions abortions and vaccines do not, of course, have fetus cells). However, the second set takes verses from the Bible out of context and manipulates them to explain that God alone will heal and protect them from Covid-19, or that their body is “a temple” and the vaccine would contaminate it.

However, Covid-19 and vaccines did not exist when the Bible was created, and a Covid-19 case would “contaminate” the body far more than its vaccine. Since all major religions support the vaccine and there is no evidence that the vaccine violates religious beliefs, the Covid-19 vaccine must be exempt from religious exemptions. After all, most major religions follow the Golden Rule to love one’s neighbor, and vaccines are the best way to do that in 2021.