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Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe In Vaccinations?

To many of us, Jehovah’s Witnesses are the people that knock on doors with Bibles in their hands.

They are relentless about evangelism and getting their gospel out there.  

When it comes to politics, they remain neutral. You will not catch them lobbying for votes, campaigning for candidates, running for government office, or taking part in actions directed at changing governments.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are also known for their strict guidelines as far as medical treatment is concerned.

For instance, blood transfusions aren’t allowed in the church.

If you watch Grey’s Anatomy, you must have seen some episodes where patients would rather die than accept blood from another person.

What about vaccination? Can the followers of the faith get vaccinated?

Jehovah’s Witnesses Do Believe In Vaccination

According to jw.org, the official Jehovah’s Witnesses website, vaccination is not opposed by the church.

Its followers are given a choice whether they want to be vaccinated or not. Many of them choose this path.

The church recognizes and appreciates advancements in the medical field.

The leaders agree that healthcare professionals do a tremendous job of saving lives.

Vaccinations help reduce the negative impact of serious illnesses and are thus welcome to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Leaders of the Christian denomination say that during the COVID-19 period, many of their followers got vaccinated.

As soon as the pandemic broke out, the church was at the forefront to remind people of COVID-19 safety protocols.

They created awareness of social distancing in public places, hand washing, quarantining, and the use of face masks.

Human life is highly regarded in the denomination. The followers strongly believe in the love of the neighbor and the sanctity of life—the two principles that drive their faith.

That causes them to seek medical help including accepting immunizations.

Have Jehovah’s Witnesses Always Believed In Vaccinations?

The idea of being vaccinated was unacceptable in Jehovah’s Witness faith for a long time.

Charles Taze, the guy that launched the denomination disagreed with traditional beliefs within Christianity.

He argued with mainstream Christian leaders regarding specific topics such as hellfire, the immortality of the soul, predestination, and the return of Jesus to earth.

The early followers of the faith also created stern rules about medical treatment. They claimed that (through scripture), blood transfusion wasn’t allowed by God.

The religious doctrine generally says that one’s life shouldn’t be sustained by another person’s blood.

If the victim’s only way of survival is through submission, they would rather die than accept blood from another. 

The followers strongly believe that anyone that receives blood from another will be rejected by Jehovah.

To date, blood transfusions aren’t allowed in the denomination

Early Jehovah’s Witnesses couldn’t also be immunized. The church forbade it. Initially, it’s doctrine denounced all kinds of vaccines.

It wasn’t until 19522 that the church embraced the prevention strategy.

Are There Jehovah’s Witnesses Who Reject Vaccines?

Vaccinations involve the transfer of antibodies from one individual to another.

Take the case of plasma-based COVID-19 vaccines, for instance. To prevent this deadly illness, plasma is transferred from one individual to another.

 If you recall your biology, plasma is one of the components that make up blood along with red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

The fluid transports hormones, nutrients, and proteins throughout the body.

Plasma makes up about 55% of blood making it the largest part.

As such, some Jehovah’s Witnesses have some reservations about this specific COVID-19 vaccine.

They claim that plasma-based vaccinations typically go against their stand on blood transfusions.

Long before the official release of the COVID-19 vaccine, the said followers would hope and pray that another type of cure would be found by researchers—one that would be aligned with their beliefs.

At the time, the followers would gather for prayer believing that God would cure coronavirus without having to get vaccinated.

Luckily, the official coronavirus vaccines aren’t based on plasma transfer. Therefore, they are widely accepted by most Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In Summary…

So, do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in vaccinations?

The answer is yes. They weren’t open to it at first but they changed their minds about it later. Now, the church leadership asserts that vaccines are allowed by the denomination.

One can decide whether to be vaccinated or not.

However, there’s a disclaimer: The vaccine must not be plasma-based as this necessities the transfer of blood from one individual to another.

Also Read:

Jehovah’s Witness Beliefs on Blood Transfusion Explored

9 Jehovah’s Witness Dietary Restrictions You Probably Didn’t Know

50 Questions Jehovah Witnesses Cannot Answer

How to Navigate Leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, offering insights into the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses concerning vaccinations. Readers are encouraged to approach the content with an open mind, acknowledging diverse interpretations and practices within the faith. It does not impose judgments or dictate beliefs but fosters a respectful exploration of the subject matter. For specific advice, consulting authoritative sources within the Jehovah’s Witness community is recommended. This post does not replace guidance from religious authorities.

Faith Zion

Faith Zion is a passionate expert in African culture, history, and mythology, with a focus on ancient African history. As a PhD candidate in History, she has dedicated her academic journey to unraveling the mysteries of African art, religion, and mythology, particularly during the Predynastic period. With years of experience in the field, Faith's extensive research has enriched her knowledge in various mythological traditions, including African, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, Mesoamerican, Japanese, and more.

Faith Zion
Faith Zion is a passionate expert in African culture, history, and mythology, with a focus on ancient African history. As a PhD candidate in History, she has dedicated her academic journey to unraveling the mysteries of African art, religion, and mythology, particularly during the Predynastic period. With years of experience in the field, Faith's extensive research has enriched her knowledge in various mythological traditions, including African, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, Mesoamerican, Japanese, and more.
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