Faith, Science, and the Covid Vaccines with Francis Collins

Francis stopped by Skye Jethani and Phil Vischer’s podcast, Holy Post.

Notable quote:
Culture wars are killing us. Literally.

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I REALLY appreciated this conversation with Dr. Collins. It is possible that I have missed articles here on Biologos related to my concerns, so feel free to point me in the right direction.

My husband and I are fully vaccinated. My concern is for my kids. I know enough science to know that an mRNA vaccine is a new type and that there can’t have been longitudinal studies on developing humans. I am concerned about future affects on fertility and health that my children would not choose for themselves. I am very close to being okay with getting the shot for my 7, 9, and 12 year olds, but if anything is holding me back, it’s this.

How does an mRNA vaccine work similarly and differently to prior developed vaccines?

How is the scientific community confident in the safety of a new type of vaccine for children without longitudinal studies on their growth and development?

I believe very strongly in the ethics of caring for our community, but it is my particular job to care for these children with yesterday, today, and tomorrow in mind.


Hi Erin,

Thanks for sharing your concerns. Here are some science communicators who have been doing good things on informing the public about the vaccines, including kids.

I can’t remember the full content of this interview, but it might help: Vaccine Q & A with Dr. Francis Collins - Resources - BioLogos. But the mRNA just teaches your body how to react to the virus, without actually introducing the virus itself (not live or dead), and then is out of your system in a matter of days.

here’s a handy video.

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I think you are right to be diligent and careful in looking at vaccines, or at hot dogs, for that matter.
As to you specific concerns, the fertility issue is interesting as I am aware of no valid concerns. Some rather bizarre claims have been made but no evidence. And, if you are concerned about some antibody reaction, remember that Covid infection makes the same antibodies if you get the infection, which most everyone will do who are not immunized.
Basically, it comes down to a risk-benefit ratio, and it overwhelmingly favors vaccines. Even with things like myocarditis in young boys/men, infection with Covid is more likely to cause it than the vaccine as I understand it.
Blessings on your decisions, and may you have peace about whatever you decide.

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I know a lot of people that have been pregnant since getting vaccinated!


I just finished. It’s not every interview that Francis Collins shares fun Stephen Colbert stories.


Good questions. I’m a family doc, and a pediatric infectious disease doc (Dr Olivera in Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, MI) in our system posted an enthusiastic review on safety–but it’s an intramural (is that the right term?) and can’t be shared. Our 8 and 11 year olds are scheduled to get the shot, and our 13 year old already did.

The CDC is an often forgotten resource on great public-level information, with the best professional level research behind it. COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens | CDC

Thanks. Keep safe!

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Here’s another problem with not getting vaccinated:

  • Pregnant women who had Covid-19 when they delivered their babies were almost twice as likely to have a stillbirth as healthy women who did not have Covid, the C.D.C. found.
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Have you spoken with your pediatrician about your concerns?

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