Photo: Pixabay

Vaccination information and Recommendations

The safety and advisability of vaccinating our children has become a hot topic, and one of great importance. This handout was prepared to present reliable information, answer questions, provide encouragement, and perhaps spark more Christian enthusiasm for medical science drawn from history.

by Andrè Van Mol, MD

The safety and advisability of vaccinating our children has become a hot topic, and one of great importance. This handout was prepared to present reliable  information, answer questions, provide encouragement, and perhaps spark more Christian enthusiasm for medical science drawn from history.

Christianity in action – science, health care, and vaccines.

Medical Historian H.E. Sigerist wrote that “Christianity came into the world as the religion of healing . . .”.1 Christians pioneered and globally distributed modern hospitals (before which doctors were only for those rich enough for the house calls),  orphanages (before which exposing unwanted babies to the elements was an accepted practice in the Roman Empire), hospices, and a vast number of medical mercy ministries.2345  J. Robert Oppenheimer (the atom bomb physicist) said modern science was born out of the Christian world‐view.6 Mathematician‐ philosopher Alfred North Whitehead noted that Christianity was the mother of  modern science because of “the medieval insistence on the rationality of God.”7 (Neither man was a believer.) Eminent Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga  concluded, "Modern science was conceived, and born, and flourished in the matrix  of Christian theism.8

Some Christian founders of their branches of science included Copernicus & Kepler (celestial mechanics), Francis Bacon (called “the major prophet of the scientific  revolution”), Blaise Pascal (hydrostatics), Robert Boyle (chemistry), John Ray (natural history), George Culver (comparative anatomy), Lister (antiseptic surgery),  Pasteur (bacteriology), and Mendel (genetics). There were more. Not bad at all.

Modern Bioethics had a solidly Christian foundation and was birthed in the mid‐20th Century to protect human dignity. Christian ethics became medical bioethics.  Its  architects were primarily believers like Edmund Pellegrino (Georgetown U., past  head of the U.S. President’s Council on Bioethics), Paul Ramsey, and others.9

The modern scientific enterprise, much of healthcare, and even vaccines themselves were launched largely by believers who understood that loving God and loving your neighbor were unified commandments, and that masterful use of our godly giftings was both an act of worship to God and a compassionate service to people. The first  vaccination was developed by Dr. Edward Jenner, a devout Christian.10  In 1798 he  published his research that administering fluid from a cowpox sore would immunize  against smallpox.  Vaccines are, in fact, a manifestation of God’s grace born out from  members of his church for the blessing of humanity.  We would be wise to partake.

How do Vaccines work?

We each have a God‐given immune system that protects us, moment by moment, against infections and diseases.  As we are exposed to a disease, our immune system  naturally works to both defeat it and provide us with immunization against a future  attack from it.  However, some diseases can leave lasting damage or be life‐ending. Vaccines contain killed or weakened (attenuated) viruses or bacteria (or portions  of them) to trigger our immune systems to respond and develop immunity to that  disease.  Antibodies are produced that will attack the disease, and only that disease,  the next time the virus or bacteria that causes it shows up in our body.   Immunizations trigger a natural process. The idea is to use a weak or dead version  of the virus or bacteria to protect us from the real deal.  With vaccines we get the  immunity without having to suffer the disease.  According to the Center for Disease  Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines, depending on the type, can fail 1 to 5% of  the time.  Sometimes a repeat dosing of the vaccine corrects that, and other times  not.  Boosters are needed from time to time for certain vaccines as well. Overall, the  odds of protection and benefit are way in favor of the vaccinated child (and adult).

What diseases are preventable through vaccinations?

The CDC publishes a Parent’s Guide to Childhood Immunizations, which lists the  following as vaccine-preventable diseases (‐guide/default.htm):

Diphtheria (a toxin‐producing bacteria with a 10% rate of mortality).

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib; a cause of meningitis and pneumonia).

Hepatitis A and B (viral infections of the liver). Influenza (flu; the top cause of loss of life from vaccine-preventable illness, especially in the elderly and very young).

Measles (can cause pneumonia, encephalitis, and is lethal for 1/1,000).

Mumps (usually mild, but can cause deafness, sterility or encephalitis, lethal 1/10,000).

Pertussis (whooping cough; can cause pneumonia, seizures and be lethal, particularly for the very young).

Pneumococcal disease (pneumonia, meningitis, ear infections, sinusitis, etc.).

Polio (formerly caused paralysis in 20,000 yearly in the USA before the vaccine).

Rotavirus (diarrhea and vomiting).

Rubella (German measles; risk to unborn babies with 80% rate of Congenital Rubella Syndrome including blindness, deafness, or worse).

Tetanus (lockjaw; 20% lethality).

Varicella (chickenpox; rarely may lead to encephalitis, higher risk in infants and the unborn at term; infection carries risk for shingles later in life).

The CDC Parent’s Guide to Childhood Immunizations contains a chart showing the remarkable drop in disease rates since vaccines were introduced.  Diphtheria and Congenital Rubella Syndrome declined 100%; measles, mumps and rubella reduced over 99%; and tetanus fell 98%.  Please note that the timing of the decline of these diseases corresponded to the use of vaccines and not the advent of improved sanitation, though obviously the introduction of modern sanitation was a  great step forward for public health.  A Colorado study found unvaccinated children have 22 times the rate of acquiring pertussis (whooping cough) compared to children vaccinated against it.11  A study of CDC data from 1985‐1992, along with  reports from states, showed non‐vaccinated children were 35 times more likely to  contract measles than those who were vaccinated.12

Which vaccines are considered routine and recommended?

We can offer our children protection from fourteen diseases with these ten routine childhood vaccines:

DTaP: against Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis. *Tdap is for adolescents and adults; California requires it now for 7th‐12th graders.

MMR: against Measles, Mumps & Rubella

HepA: against Hepatitis A  HepB: against Hepatitis B Hib: against Haemophilus influenzae type b (childhood meningitis, ear infections, sinusitis)

Flu: against Influenza (not all of them, but those selected as most likely; these vary annually due to a high mutation rate in flu viruses).

PCV13: against Pneumococcal disease (not all of them, but the most likely)

Polio: against Polio

RV: against Rotavirus

Varicella: against Chickenpox

There are other vaccines out there, but they are not routinely recommended for elementary school children. These include: Meningococcal vaccine against meningitis is intended for those ages 11 to 18.R abies vaccine if a person is bitten by a rabies‐suspected animal. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is for girls 11‐12 years old (but effective for ages 9 through 26) to help prevent cervical cancer and genital warts.  It is given to boys and men ages 9 through 26 as well.  Why give this vaccine to children we raise to abstain from intercourse until marriage? Three main reasons:  (1) our children cannot account for their spouse’s past, (2) the chance of sexual violence against our children, and (3) despite the best upbringing, our children might make bad choices (though we neither predict nor wish that).  If you are already married and both you and your husband came to the alter as virgins, the reasons for the HPV vaccine would be protection from the virus in case of sexual violence (rape) or infidelity. Other vaccines exist for travel (Yellow fever, Typhoid, Japanese encephalitis).

When are vaccines supposed to be given?

A vaccination schedule is included in this packet for your convenience. Here is a link if you are reading this on the web:‐schedule.htm. The schedule is not arbitrary. Specific immunizations are recommended at certain times in a child ’s young life due to the risk of those diseases in various age groups, the number of vaccines required in a specific series, and the ages when vaccines are most effective. However, there is flexibility in the schedule. Many vaccines show an age range during which each should be given. Combination vaccines exist which group certain immunizations as well.

When should vaccines not be given?

There are precautions and reasons to postpone or even contraindicate (reasons not to give) an immunization. If a child is currently ill, it is usually advised to wait until she/he recovers before being vaccinated.  The two most common reasons listed in the CDC guide against administering a certain immunization are not giving the flu vaccine to a child with a severe egg allergy and not giving live‐virus‐type vaccines to a child with a compromised immune system (due to infection, disease, or certain medication, for example).  If a child has demonstrated a strong reaction to a given vaccination, no further of that type should be received.  For a very detailed listing of which conditions, illness, allergies and such pose problems with specific vaccinations, the Guide to Vaccine Contraindications and Precautions is on the web at‐admin/downloads/contraindications‐ guide‐508.pdf.  As parents we should be careful to identify if such conditions are in our children, and to then inform the medical provider giving the inoculations.

What things are in a vaccine?

Again, vaccines contain killed or weakened (attenuated) viruses or bacteria (or portions of them).  Adjuvants are part of some vaccines, and these are agents that cause a more forceful immune response. They are boosters. Preservatives keep a vaccine from spoiling or being contaminated. The manufacturing process can involve things like yeast or formaldehyde, but these are carefully filtered out. Specific items like mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde (be they preservatives or part of the manufacturing process of some vaccines) remain in miniscule quantities. By miniscule, we mean less than people may take in daily from food, beverages, and other common exposures. Put another way, we get less toxic exposure from these few vaccinations than we may acquire every few days from normal life.

What can go wrong with vaccinations?

With killed or attenuated viral or bacterial immunizations a person cannot get the disease from the injection. The live‐virus vaccines are also designed to not cause the disease. A child may well seem ill after some vaccinations, but it will be far milder than the disease the vaccine prevents. Likewise, the child’s immune system wo n’t be overwhelmed by the amount of vaccines given.  After all, our immune systems may well fight off greater things every day.  A 2010 study in the journal Pediatrics showed that infants receiving the full load of scheduled vaccinations showed no neuropsychological ill effects – no harm to their brains or minds ‐‐ even 10 years later.13  Vaccinations have over a half‐century of track record – their benefits are extraordinary and their failures and harms few.  All must be proven with extensive studies and are required to have Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

The most common reactions are mild pain and/or swelling in the injection area and fever, which acetaminophen, ibuprofen or other non‐aspirin pain reliever can treat.

Less commonly, allergic reactions happen, and rarely things like seizures, or exceedingly rarely brain injury (encephalopathy) can occur.  Of the few seizures that occur, most are febrile seizures, which are simply benign convulsions (though they look scary) caused by the fever itself.  Even without vaccinations, febrile seizures actually occur at least once in about 4% of all children less than 3 years of age from regular fever‐causing infections.  Febrile seizures are not the same as seizure disorders like epilepsy, and they do not lead to them, but in a small percentage of children they do uncover an underlying seizure disorder.14 However, let your doctor decide if a seizure is merely a febrile seizure or not by seeking medical attention if a seizure occurs.

Allergic or severe reactions, when they do occur, tend to happen within minutes to a few hours after a vaccine if given. In the rare occasion that something severe does happen, contact your physician, vaccination clinic, or emergency care center.   Examples would be high fevers (104 degrees F or more) that won’t go down with  Motrin or Tylenol, lowered consciousness, seizures (again, let the doctor determine  if it is a simple febrile seizure or not), crying lasting over 3 hours, trouble breathing,  large areas of swelling (not just in the region of the injection), or if you are not sure  that a situation is safe.  The government has set up both the Vaccine Adverse Event  Reporting System (, which your doctor or vaccination clinic will usually deal with for you, and the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program  ( to help in such cases.  The point is that careful tracking of possible vaccine reactions has been ongoing to protect us all.

What about the autism link?

In 1998 the British journal Lancet published a study suggesting that the MMR vaccine might case autism.  In 2010 Lancet published a formal retraction of the research.15  A 2004 consensus report of the Institute of Medicine of the National  Academies concluded that review of all available studies on the subject found no relationship between autism and either MMR vaccine or the mercury compound thimerosal‐containing vaccines.16 A 2010 study by the CDC had the same findings,  namely no association between thimerosal/merucy‐containing vaccines and autism.17  A 2008 study even demonstrated no association between Measles vaccine and the subtype of autism with gastrointestinal disturbances (enteropathy).18 The point is that parents with autistic children have no reason to fear that vaccinations caused the problem – they did not.  The second point is that fear of autism should stop no parent from having a child vaccinated – the evidence of risk is not there.

What about the SIDS link?

The CDC has a helpful web page showing the evidence that there is no association between vaccinations and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  Furthermore, it  reveals that a sharp decline in SIDS was achieved with the recommendation in the  early 1990s that babies should sleep on their backs rather than their stomachs.19

Is tissue from aborted fetuses used in making vaccines?

There are two human embryonic cell lines that were originally obtained from two fetuses aborted in the 1960s ‐‐ WI-38 (Winstar Institute 38) and MRC‐5 (Medical  Research Council 5) – which are used to grow certain virus strains used in some vaccines.20 21 22 In their paper, “Vaccines Whose Production is Associated with  Embryonic Cell Cultures,” experts from the Christian Medical & Dental Associations  (CMDA) reported that they were “not aware of any vaccine whose production  requires cell cultures from on‐going abortions.”23 So, the only abortions in question happened over 40 years ago, and none since are known to have gone into vaccine manufacturing.

The same paper goes on to name specific vaccines made using the WI‐38 and MRC‐5  cell lines. These include some for varicella/chicken pox (Varivax), rubella/German measles (Meruvax II, MMR II), hepatitis A (Havrix, VAQTA), the hepatitis A & B  combination (Twinrix), and rabies (Imovax).  Alternatives for mumps (Mumpsvax),  measles/rubeola (Attenuvax), and rabies (RavAvert) are available which do not use abortion‐derived fetal or embryonic cells.  Vaccines produced without abortion‐ derived human cell cultures include those for anthrax, diphtheria, DPT (diphtheria,  tetanus, pertussis), Haemophilus B, hepatitis B, influenza, meningococcal meningitis,  pneumococcal pneumonia, tetanus, typhoid, and yellow fever.

The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life authored a summary of their study on the issue entitled, “Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared From Stem Cells Derived  From Aborted Human Fetuses” which comes to similar findings.24  Their detailed ethical and moral reasoning emphasizes the importance of calling on the pharmaceutical industry to find ethical alternatives to abortion‐sourced tissue, but they also note, “ . . . the burden of this important battle cannot and must not fall on  innocent children and on the health situation of the population ‐‐ especially with  regard to pregnant women.”  The pregnancy reference concerns the very high risk of  Congenital Rubella Syndrome in pregnant women exposed to rubella.  They declare  “there is a grave responsibility to use alternative vaccines, ” but also state, “As  regards the vaccines without an alternative” parents are “morally justified” in using  these vaccines “for the good of one's children and of the people who come in contact  with the children ‐‐ pregnant women.”  The Academy reminded all that this “should not be misinterpreted as a declaration of the lawfulness of their [these particular vaccines’] production, [and] marketing . . . “.

In a statement titled, “Is Vaccination Complicit with Abortion?” Dr. Gene Rudd of the CMDA addresses the issue further.  Dr. Rudd reminds us that medical science made use of information gleaned from Nazi experimentation on humans despite its evil origin.  His point is that, at some level, redemption is considered:  “While never condoning evil acts so that good may result, the Judeo‐Christian tradition teaches of a loving God Who seeks to make good out of evil . . . Though linked, participation in the good does not endorse the evil. Neither does one need to reject the benefits of  vaccination (good) solely because of its past linkage with abortion (evil).”  Dr. Rudd  concludes that our “concern about the use of cell cultures linked to abortion . . .  should motivate the pharmaceutical industry to find morally acceptable  alternatives.”25

I look at the situation with another example.  Suppose a child needs an organ transplant. A matching organ is found, and it is the only available and timely option for the child.  It is then learned that the organ donor was a murder victim.  Is accepting the organ the same as approving of the murder?  No.  As of yet, we similarly have no alternative to these certain vaccines produced in part with tissue derived from two pre‐born children aborted nearly half a century ago.  However, we can prayerfully petition the manufacturers and marketers to find ethical and life-honoring alternatives as swiftly as possible.

What if we cannot afford the vaccines?

If the price for immunizations is beyond your household means, contact the Vaccines for Children program to see if you qualify for free vaccines at


1 Henry E. Sigerist, Civilization and Disease (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press,  1944), p. 69.


3 D.B. Nagle, et al. The Ancient World: Readings in Social and Cultural History, fourth  ed. (Prentice Hall, 2010), p. 251.

4 Alvin J. Schmidt, How Christianity Changed the World, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan,  2001), p.132.

5 Kenneth R. Samples, Without a Doubt, (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004), p.219.

6 J. Robert Oppenheimer, "On Science and Culture," Encounter, vol. 19, no. 4 (October  1962), 3–10.

7 Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World, (Cambridge University.  Press, 1926) pp. 18‐19.

8 Alvin Plantinga, "Darwin, Mind and Meaning", November 17, 1997, p. 8, http://id‐

9 Allen Verhey.  Religion and Medical Ethics:  Looking Back, Looking Forward,  (Eerdmans Publishing, 1996) pp. 9‐18, 61‐80.


11 Feikin, D., et al. “Individuals and Community Risks of Measles and Pertussis Associated with Personal Exemptions to Immunization.” JAMA 2000;284(24):3145‐ 3150.

12 Salmon, D., et al. “Health Consequences of Religious and Philosophical Exemptions From Immunization Laws: Individual and Societal Risk of Measles.”  JAMA. 1999;282(1):47‐53.

13 Smith, M., et al. “On‐time Vaccine Receipt in the First Year Does Not Adversely Affect Neuropsychological Outcomes.” Pediatrics 2010; 125:6 1134‐1141.


15 “Retraction—Ileal‐lymphoid‐nodular hyperplasia, non‐specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children.” The Lancet, Volume 375, Issue 9713,  Page 445, 6 February 2010.

16‐Safety‐Review‐Vaccines‐and‐ Autism.aspx.

17 Price, C. et al. “Prenatal and Infant Exposure to Thimerosal From Vaccines and Immunoglobulins and Risk of Autism.” Pediatrics 2010;126:656–664

18 Hornig M, et al. (2008) “Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and  Autism with Enteropathy: A Case‐Control Study.” PLoS ONE 3(9): e3140.


20 L. Hayflick. "The Limited In‐Vitro Lifetime of Human Diploid Cell Strains," Experimental Cell Research, March 1965, vol.37, no. 3, pp. 614‐636.

21 J.P. Jacobs, C.M. Jones, J.P. Bailie. "Characteristics of a Human Diploid Cell  Designated MRC-5," Nature, 11th July 1970, vol.277, pp. 168‐170.



24 “On Vaccines Made From Cells of Aborted Fetuses,”, July 27. 2005.



  1. Kathy Athearn on July 30, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    I am wondering if you recommend my 14 year old and 12 year old daughters get the HPV vaccine? I know that it was discouraged when the vaccine first came out, but has that changed?

    Thank you.

    • Amanda on January 20, 2020 at 4:37 pm

      This blogpost is lacking in critical information and just parrots what the CDC says. There are aborted fetal cells in many vaccines. You cannot be pro-life and pro-vaccine.

  2. Keva Ambre on October 9, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Please don’t get the HPV vaccine. The risk far outweighs the benefit. Too many girls have died or have been left disabled after the administration of this harmful and ineffective vaccine.
    Here’s a report on the efficacy of the clinical trials. What I think is helpful about this article is it’s from a very liberal media outlet; not one to tend toward caution when talking about vaccines.

  3. Jon Hofland on May 20, 2020 at 1:21 am

    My oldest daughter was born via an emergency c-section and spent her first 3 weeks in the NICU on a vent. Being young parents we were concerned about our children’s health. We were encouraged to put her in the chicken pox vaccine study, which we did, feeling like we were doing something good for the world. Fast forward 30 years, our position on the subject has changed. My wife became a nurse and gave thousands of vaccinations. The more she studied the immune system, vaccines, the schedules, the side effects, etc the more uneasy we became with vaccines. We are not anti-vaxxers, but we are not pro-vax either. We believe that parents should do there homework, better than we did, before vaccinating their kids. God designed our bodies with the ability to heal and fight disease. Some vaccines have their place but are we putting our trust in God or in the medical establishment? We regret participating in the study and we wish we had not blindly followed the official schedule and given our kids so many vaccines. When I grew up it was maybe 4 or 5 vaccines for super contagious really nasty stuff like measles and polio, so that’s what you think when giving your kids vaccines. But its not like that anymore. Chicken pox is inconvenient but not the end of the world, but now it has become mandatory, For many of the vaccines on the schedule the risks just are not worth the reward. Remember, you (your kid) can’t untake a vaccine. I suggest you ask for and read the paper that comes in box with the vaccine before the appointment where they will administer the vaccine, if the medical professionals will even give you a copy. My wife as a nurse read it but none of the patients/parents did. Think of that fast lawyer speak at the end of a commercial for medicine that they don’t want you to hear. If vaccines were so safe why is there a multi billion dollar National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program run by the gov’t? Why do they give the 1st dose of the HepB vaccine at birth? Do you know how HepB is transmitted? Sexually! Why? $$$$. If we were to do it again we would have given my kids less than half of the vaccines and on a much slower schedule, which has only got worse since our kids were getting them.

  4. Amanda on June 16, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    My son almost died after his dtap shot. As you are right about natural acquired immunity, it happens to not be correct with vaccines. Vaccines pass the digestive system and are directly deposited into the blood stream and the polysorbate in vaccines opens the blood brain barrier allowing for direct deposit of all the ingredients in that vaccine. Do you know the ingredients? Because 5 of the inserts I’ve read so for state they contain human diploid tissue which is aborted fetal cells. There is chick embryo, bovine serum, latex, peanut derivative, aluminum etc. I know for a fact God says abortion is wrong. Why would I go against my Father by supported a corrupt system who’s injecting these things? God made us perfect, He didn’t forget about diseases. He says, “this fight is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.“ Did it occur to anyone that the best way to assault Gods creation is not by going after the little ones? The ones with no voice who can’t tell you that they are having a seizure after their shots. Did you know you can’t tell 90% of the time when I child has a seizure? Did you know that SIDS and autism are listed as possible adverse effects on page 11 of 13 of the dtap shot? Did you know we’ve gone from 2 shots to over 229 for kids as of 2020? Some single vials containing 13 different strains? We have been deceived. Very very deceived. GOD WILL NOT CONDONE ABORTED FETAL TISSUE IN OUR BODIES.

    • Mary on June 23, 2021 at 1:53 am

      What are your thoughts on the Covid-19 vaccine?

  5. Jennifer on October 21, 2020 at 12:39 am

    Thank you for sharing your story Amanda. How old was your boy when he took the shot?

  6. Cady on October 30, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you for this article. It is so well written. I will surely use this to provide to patients on occasion.

  7. anagen on January 2, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    If the murderer was complicit with the doctor providing the transplant, then I think almost everybody would say it’s wrong. In this case the vaccine makers are working with the companies that procured the cell lines that worked with the abortion provider that ultimately killed the baby, making them “one” in spirit. The vaccine manufacturers didn’t just happen to come into possession of the murdered baby’s cells, they were ultimately working with companies that provide them. Similar to how, in law, a getaway driver on a car can be charged with homicide if his accomplices kill somebody in a robbery. In the case of a murder victim, the murderer is in no way “one” in spirit with the police or doctors. A more fitting analogy would be a doctor who murdered people or contracted with murderers to use for organ donations. I seriously doubt you would approve of the organ transplant in that case. If you would approve of it, at least update your article to reflect a more accurate analogy so that people can not be mislead. I doubt the fact that the doctor killed the person 40 years ago would change most people’s mind either because a murder is still a murder.

    Please don’t let such blatantly fallacious analogies come forth from somebody who bears the name of Christ. It’s a disgrace to his name.

    Also, why in the world would big pharma manufacturers and marketers ever stop using the fruit of abortion when enlightened Christians like Dr. Rudd are ever ready to tell other Christians to buy their products despite the evil? For companies like that the only thing they respond to is money.

Leave a Comment