On December 16, the leadership of the Adventist denomination’s South Pacific Division (SPD) issued a statement on recent developments connected to the COVID-19 vaccine.

The division said it had “worked in consultation with its medical professionals and academics” to create the statement. The SPD designed the statement to “enable our members to make informed, evidence-based decisions.”

The statement is below:

Statement on Immunization

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a rich history of promoting health and wellbeing in our communities.

The Adventist understanding of health and healing is based on biblical revelation, the writings of Ellen G. White, and peer-reviewed scientific literature. We believe that all healing ultimately comes from God, that Christians are called to live by faith, and that healing occasionally occurs in miraculous ways. However, we also believe that, more often than not, God works with or through the gift of increased medical knowledge, which He has so graciously provided to us.

While some mistakenly assume that seeking the expertise of medical practitioners demonstrates a lack of faith in God and His ability to heal, this view fails to recognise that God created us to learn, to think and to do. The New Testament refers to individuals known as “physicians” (see Colossians 4:14) and acknowledges their limitations (see Luke 8:43); however, while recognising that medical care is not infallible, the Bible does not suggest that medical care should be avoided.

In line with this thinking, we encourage responsible immunisation/vaccination and have no religious or faith-based reason to discourage our adherents to responsibly participate in protective and preventive immunisation programs. The Church, however, is not the conscience of individual church members and recognises individuals’ rights to make choices. The choice not to be immunised is not and should not be seen as the dogma nor the doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Further information on this topic is available in the addendum “COVID-19 Vaccination.”

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