The Orthodox Church is not against vaccination. Sadly, a medical error with the BCG vaccine in Romania in 2016 caused a fear of vaccination to spread. People also think that vaccines are made from aborted babies. Like most fake news, there’s a tiny element of truth to this. 

The Rubella (German Measles) vaccine was developed in the 1960s using lung cells from two babies that were aborted because their mother had caught this virus which causes serious birth defects and miscarriages. These cells were allowed to copy themselves, and the virus extracted and purified before being made into the vaccine. However (and this is very important), the vaccine doesn’t contain cells from the two children, and they weren’t killed to make the vaccine. 

Non-Orthodox opponents of vaccination say that governments use vaccines to control people. Others say that vaccines disturb our ‘energy flow’. This idea is found in witchcraft and various New Age practices such as crystal healing. It’s completely un-Orthodox. It’s no surprise that people who believe in weird ‘alternative’ religions also oppose vaccination. We mustn’t allow ourselves to become infected with this virus of false belief. 

Nearly all medical treatments involve some kind of personal risk. In the case of vaccination, we need to consider the risk to others as well. Spreading disease through a refusal to be vaccinated is spiritually very dangerous. How will we answer at the Final Judgement if our actions have caused others to become seriously ill, suffer and die?

Excerpt from the Ark of Salvation: A Young Adult's Guide to the Orthodox Church


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