Compassion for COVID-19 Vaccine Concerns
Age-old disputes over religious orthodoxy have yielded odd intersections between faith and medical treatment. Religious-based medical practices, such as faith-healing, have become controversial in recent years as many people have objected to it as being a dangerous and irresponsible method of treating illnesses.
As the COVID-19 vaccine is being administered throughout the nation, it is only natural that concerns are being raised regarding the significant contingent of Americans (40 percent!) who are unwilling to get vaccinated. Objections similar to those brought up against faith-healing have been brought up against those who have declared their intention to resist vaccination.
While some may be tempted to condemn vaccine hesitancy, it is important that these concerns be approached with compassion. As Christians are taught in Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Those who are concerned about COVID-19 vaccination should not be approached with condemnation but should, instead, be met with empathy. The objections that many people have are more than understandable.
For instance, after several early allergic reactions were reported, the Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance advising those who have had an anaphylactic reaction to any of the ingredients of the new vaccine not to get the vaccine.
Although vaccines are probably safe for most of the population, if one is unlucky enough to have an adverse reaction, they will not even be able to sue Pfizer or Moderna because the government has granted them immunity from liability. 
Before deriding those who are hesitant to take the vaccine, it is important to consider these factors, after all, it says in Proverbs 17:27 “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.”
This becomes even more important in looking at specific demographics. For instance, Black and Hispanic Americans are highly unlikely to feel comfortable getting vaccinated in light of the medical community’s dark and sordid history involving experimentation on non-consenting minorities. In fact, a recent report estimated that 14 percent of Black Americans and 34 percent of Hispanic Americans trust in the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Surely it is not a sin to have regard for one’s own safety, especially when that concern is for the safety of one’s own family. It tells us 1 Timothy 5:8 “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
The reservations expressed by many are perfectly rational and should be approached from a place of understanding and compassion.
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 Cary Funk and Alec Tyson, “Intent to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine Rises to 60% as Confidence in Research and Development Process Increases,” Pew Research (December 3, 2020), https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2020/12/03/intent-to-get-a-covid-19-vaccine-rises-to-60-as-confidence-in-research-and-development-process-increases/?utm_source=adaptivemailer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20-12-03%20w79%20covid%20vaccine%20and%20trust%20in%20scientists&org=982&lvl=100&ite=7544&lea=1670407&ctr=0&par=1&trk=  “CDC issues new guidance on COVID-19 vaccine for people with allergies,” NBC (December 20, 2020), https://www.nbc29.com/2020/12/20/cdc-issues-new-guidance-covid-vaccine-people-with-allergies/  MacKenzie Sigalos, “You can’t sue Pfizer or Moderna if you have severe Covid vaccine side effects. The government likely won't compensate you for damages either,” CNBC (December 19, 2020), https://www.nbc29.com/2020/12/20/cdc-issues-new-guidance-covid-vaccine-people-with-allergies/  “Coronavirus Vaccine Hesitancy in Black and Latinx Communities,” Langer Research Associates (Fall 2020), https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5f85f5a156091e113f96e4d3/t/5fb72481b1eb2e6cf845457f/1605837977495/VaccineHesitancy_BlackLatinx_Final_11.19.pdf