Covid Vaccinations

I am deeply encouraged to find an Open Forum with many people who are united and compassionate towards differing opinions. I wanted to ask a few questions to clarify:

From what I understand, if you receive the vaccine you are still able to transmit Covid and can still be hospitalized. Is this correct?

It’s also my understanding that those who have previously been vaccinated have immunity built up for a few months so I’m wondering why those individuals would need to be vaccinated?

If most people are surviving Covid, which I’ve read that it’s a 99.7% survival rate, why is it important to be vaccinated?

Vaccine mandates have been in the US before, but I do feel some Christians are trying to continue to have a free America for those who flee to our country for that reason.

I really appreciate any feedback on this. I have been in prayer and have thought back and forth on this issue but I just haven’t found anyone to answer these questions.

Hi Sara. That is correct. But it is also true that you are substantially less likely to transmit the virus and much less likely to be hospitalized.

Do you mean previously vaccinated or previously infected? In either case, both classes of people (usually) have some degree of immunity. Subsequent vaccination (a booster in the case of those already vaccinated, and first vaccination for those previously infected) increases the immune response. People who were quite sick from a previous infection probably have pretty robust immunity, so for me they’re not the highest priority for vaccination.

Estimates vary, but 99.5% is a reasonable ballpark. Since the entire population was initially susceptible and the virus is highly contagious, that means in the absence of vaccination half a percent of the population would die. That would be about 1.5 million or so people in the US alone, which is a lot of dead people, especially if we can prevent most of those deaths with a safe and simple shot. Dying on a ventilator, in particular, isn’t something I want for myself. Note also that a far larger fraction of those infected suffer long-term disability as a result: fatigue, trouble thinking and remembering, trouble breathing. Even with vaccination, this is going to be a major long-term problem for the world.

The US has all kinds of regulations about what you can’t do and what you have to do to protect others, including vaccination requirements for many things like enrollment in public schools. In any case, it’s wise to separate the issue of vaccine mandates, which involves value judgments about freedom and coercion, from the question of whether Christians should choose to be vaccinated. I’ve seen a lot of arguments from Christians about why they shouldn’t be vaccinated, and frankly none of them stood up to any kind of scrutiny. Most were based on factually false beliefs about the virus or the vaccines. Being vaccinated protects me and it protects others whom I might infect (directly or indirectly) if I weren’t vaccinated. And some of those people are highly vulnerable to covid and don’t have the option of protecting themselves, since their immune systems are compromised. That’s why I was vaccinated.

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Thank you so much for your reply. Your response was clear and informative.

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Welcome to the forum, Sara. Steve did a great job of answering those questions, but thought I would add a few things.
While vaccinated individuals may get Covid and wind up in the hospital, they almost never wind up in the ICU and die. And those that survive the ICU often have a rocky road ahead for months and perhaps for the rest of their lives. I have a relative in his mid forties who was in the hospital 2 weeks, and will probably be on oxygen for a couple of more months. He may have permanent scarring of his lungs. Unvaccinated and previously healthy, as well as taking the vitamin cocktail some have prescribed, eats “clean.” I know many other stories like that. I know one lady who got Covid a week after delivery, was on life support, has a tracheostomy now, and after a month of ICU is now on the rehab wing. Her life will never be the same. Many of these people will suffer PTSD even though their bodies may have survived. The future cost in both human suffering and monetary measures will be immense.
I would agree that those with prior infections are not a high priority for vaccination, but coronavirus infections are known to not give lasting immunity, and a large percentage of those with early infections have been reinfected. They too are not likely to have severe disease, but also are likely to spread it to those who may. A vaccine after 6 months or so may be reasonable in those cases.
The issue of vaccine mandates gets into politics more than science, and we try to stay away from deep discussions in that area, but will cross the line a little and say that while the freedom to refuse a vaccine may be real, also real is the freedom of an employer to require it in their workplace, particularly if those employees are in contact with the public, in my opinion.
Any other specific questions regarding vaccination or the vaccine? It has been a difficult time for many, especially for pastors and educational leaders, and they need our continued prayers for wisdom in their areas of responsibility.

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How interesting! That’s the first time that I have ever, in my 73 years, heard that there are some Christians striving now to keep America free for the benefit of foreigners fleeing to our country for that reason, i.e. presumably, to be free. .

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Thank you for your reply. This is wonderful feedback and so helpful. I do have a few questions. So if I’m understanding correctly, the vaccine will protect the vaccinated though they can still spread it to both vaccinated and unvaccinated, and both carry the same amount of viral load, but the vaccinated will be better protected and suffer less overall. If more people get vaccinated, less will be hospitalized. That makes sense to me. Thank you for explaining so clearly.

I’m wondering also if there are studies that show lockdowns or mask wearing helped the virus cases lessen. Also, how are the three vaccines different?

It’s something that has been recently brought to my attention and I really appreciate the sentiment.

Hi Sara,
You have gotten really good answers from others here.

I understand and appreciate the views of those who oppose certain mandates (vaccine requirements, masks, and especially shutting down churches and other assemblies) from a freedom standpoint. Many are more concerned about the future of their children and grandchildren.

Many of us, not so much in this forum but elsewhere, are very much in favor of encouraging people to get the vaccine but not convinced that some mandates are appropriate.

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Welcome!

Receiving the vaccine doesn’t make you contagious with COVID because you aren’t getting the virus, you are getting mRNA that stimulates your body to make a protein that triggers a similar immune response as the virus and makes antibodies that protect against the virus.

If you are vaccinated you have some protection against getting a COVID infection. An infection happens when a virus enters your body and begins to multiply quicker than the body can fight it off. A vaccine helps your body kill off the virus before it can infect you (multiply enough to start overwhelming your immune system). If it doesn’t develop into an infection, then you wouldn’t be contagious. The vaccine will help your body fight off the virus before it can infect you something like 50-80% of the time.

If the antibodies you developed from the vaccine are not enough to fight off the virus and it multiplies into an infection in your body, then you will be as contagious to others as an infected person who wasn’t vaccinated. But since you have antibodies, you will probably have a less severe infection and be able to fight the infection more quickly. It is actually only a small number of people with breakthrough infections who get sick enough to be hospitalized. The numbers keep getting updated, but in April a study showed unvaccinated people were 29 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID then vaccinated people who got a breakthrough infection, because breakthrough infections tend to be less severe since your body is better equipped with antibodies already to fight them. Similarly, people who have already had a COVID infection tend to have less severe symptoms if they get it again, though this isn’t always the case. That’s why even people who have already been sick with COVID should still get vaccinated because natural immunity + a vaccination is the best protection against reinfection. A good friend of mine died on Saturday from a second COVID infection. She lived in another country and was unable to get a vaccine because she was under 40.

There was a study done in Israel on vaccinations, prior infections, and the Delta variant. They found that compared to a single vaccine shot, natural immunity was better protection against reinfection against Delta. But two vaccine shots or a prior infection and a vaccine shot were better than natural immunity alone.

Getting COVID is bad, even if you don’t die. Thirty percent of people even those with mild cases report lingering symptoms for months after an infection, some of them pretty debilitating. Some people who are hospitalized and don’t die end up with long term or lifelong organ damage. Even a short hospitalization with a full recovery can leave a person with thousands of dollars in medical bills. The overall effect of so many people being in the hospital with COVID is that we are all going to pay more for health insurance to cover costs. My premiums went up another 9% this year. Being vaccinated makes it 1) less likely that the virus will be able to infect you and 2) makes it less likely that you will need to be hospitalized or have a serious infection that leaves you with long term side effects.

People are required to do a lot of things to protect public safety. It is weird that they have picked this hill to die on. The religious exemptions based on fetal cell line use are hypocritical because lots of common medicines like Tylenol and Tums used fetal cell lines in their development and they never had a problem with those things.

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I’m so sorry, and I weep.

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Besides all the good it can do for your family and the rest of society (especially children – in the news today was a 10-year-old who died from COVID), here’s another good reason to get vaccinated for your own benefit (it’s been all over in the news yesterday and today):

 
And pregnant women or women hoping to be pregnant (!):

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I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. Let us look to things unseen that are eternal. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me and explain. The long term effects are something I hadn’t thought about and I’m appreciative that you pointed that out to me. I thank God for these responses.

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If you’re interested, there was a lot of good information on this thread: Should I risk getting vaccinated?

Also, there have been some Christian medical professionals and scientists who have put together some really good presentations of accurate information on this website:

The FAQ page deals with a lot of the common concerns that people raise based on things they’ve heard or read that might not be accurate.

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Christy,
I wanted to ask you as well what you would communicate to someone who thinks that since there have been lawsuits against Pfizer and how things like the Tuskegee Study have been found years later that the people behind all this are evil and against us. I’ve heard from these individuals that God doesn’t want us to take part in evil and I’ve had a hard time dealing with that.

Thank you so much for sharing with me! This has been helpful. Would you point me in the direction of a study that was done showing mask mandates and lower cases?

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Here is some recently released data on elementary schools! 3.5x more likely to have an outbreak at unmasked schools.

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If you would be so kind, I have a couple of questions begging for answers.

  • Where do the individuals that you mention live?
  • What church do they associate with?
  • Are any of them Christian Scientists or Jehovah’s Witnesses?

–Terry

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I understand your feelings, and ironically have the same feelings myself, but toward the antivax segment. who I see a causing pain, suffering and death when their efforts result in folks not getting vaccinated and getting severe disease. I don’t know any great answers other than that what Joseph said in that what some meant for evil, God used for good. that and we are to give grace.

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The majority are in the Midwest and attend a Baptist church.

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Here’s a good article that @Christy posted a month (already!) ago:

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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