We received a fascinating question from a listener after our last episode on vaccines, picking up on the competing and perhaps contradictory philosophies behind the anti-vax movement. So we decided to respond to their question and thoughts with a special bonus episode looking over this issue and other developments in coronavirus vaccines since.
You will probably want to listen to the main episode on vaccines first.
In each episode of Matters of Life and Death, brought to you by Premier Unbelievable?, John Wyatt and his son Tim discuss issues in healthcare, ethics, technology, science, faith and more. John is a doctor, professor of ethics, and writer and speaker on many of these topics, while Tim is a religion and social affairs journalist. We talk about how Christians can better engage with a particular question of life, death or something else in between.
The first coronavirus vaccine jabs have already gone into the arms of people here in the UK, as Britain this week became the first country in the world to actually deploy a vaccine which had completed all its clinical trials and been signed off by the regulator. But there remain lots of questions about the vaccine – how has it been made so fast, can we be sure it is safe, who should get it first, and can Christians be given it without compromising on their religious convictions?
Listen to previous episodes on covid vaccines here:
Read John’s article on vaccines and Christian ethics here – https://johnwyatt.com/2020/10/08/article-coronavirus-vaccines-and-christian-ethics/ At the bottom is a document which has more detailed information on which particular vaccines have used which particular cell lines which may have ethical concerns, produced by the pro-life research centre the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
John has also put together a document on his website tackling some of the frequently asked questions about the vaccine – https://johnwyatt.com/2020/12/21/faq-coronavirus-vaccines-frequently-asked-questions/
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We have subsequently recorded a third episode looking into vaccines, which explores the complex ethical debate over the use of cell lines derived from an aborted fetus, as well as concerns over how we can be sure the vaccine is safe.
For more reading on these issues, I have published an article exploring Christian ethics around vaccines which you can read here. You can also read an FAQ which tackles some of the questions people are concerned about here.
We’re really interested in hearing more questions and comments from listeners – if you have something you would like us to discuss or respond to, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.