Evangelist Franklin Graham says he has taken the Covid-19 vaccine and is urging others to do so as well.
Graham made the comments to ABC News, which examined the divide within the Christian community over the vaccines. About half (54 percent) of white evangelicals say they will “definitely or probably” get the vaccine, according to Pew. That’s lower than Catholics (77 percent), black Protestants (64 percent) and atheists (90 percent).
“My father believed in modern medicine,” said Graham, the son of the late Billy Graham. “If anytime there was a vaccine or something that could help protect you, he was an advocate for it. He took it. I believe that it’s consistent with Scripture -- that we protect our lives, and do whatever we can to save life. So I don't have any problem with telling a person to take an aspirin or telling a person to have a vaccine.”
The nation’s Covid-19 infection rate has plummeted as the Covid-19 vaccines have been distributed throughout the nation. As of Monday, more than 100 million doses had been administered, according to Bloomberg’s Covid vaccine tracker. An average of 2.4 million Americans are vaccinated each day.
Graham said he has been given the vaccine.
“Thank God for the doctors and the researchers that have put this time and effort and money to develop these vaccines,” Graham said. “I hope that the American people will use them.”
Graham also criticized pastors who tell their congregation not to take the vaccine. ABC News spotlighted ministers who are opposed to the vaccine.
“I hope that the pastors in the pulpit would tell people how they can be saved from God's judgment, and that’s through faith in Jesus Christ,” Graham said. “I think [for] a pastor to tell someone not to take the vaccine is problematic, because what would happen if that person died -- got Coronavirus and died – then is the pastor responsible? I would feel responsible.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Justin Sullivan/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.