This week’s Good News Story is from Rev Jone Kacivi, Minister of New Life Wesleyan Church.
Now I am fully vaccinated.
Why did I take the vaccine?
In my role as a pastor, I was blessed to be part of a group of Pasifika pastors that meets with a top medical expert who advises the government and approved the use of the current vaccine.
During our first meeting with them, there were three questions I wanted to ask this expert. Is the vaccine safe? What is the vaccine made of? The ethical background on how the vaccine was produced? I had these questions to answer the many theories (some may call it conspiracy theories) that I was bombarded with during this pandemic.
Firstly, on the question of it safety, in New Zealand, all new medicines, including vaccines, are assessed by an organisation called Medsafe. They will only approve a vaccine once it is confident it meets all the safety checks and standards. The only COVID-19 vaccine currently approved for use in New Zealand is the Pfizer vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine went through months of clinical testing with more than 40,000 people. Since then, many millions of people around the world of all different ages, gender and ethnicities have received the vaccine. These studies confirm that the Pfizer vaccine has a very good safety record, one of the best in the world.
Secondly, the make up components of the vaccine. The vaccine is made up of different ingredients that we have in our daily food intake like fats, salt, sugar. The active ingredient is called Messenger RNA (messenger ribonucleic acid). Messenger RNA sends a message to our cells that will help to protect our body if it comes into contact with COVID-19. Messenger RNA is not new and has been studied for many years.
Thirdly, the ethical background on how the vaccine was produced. In the past parts of the world have gone through pandemic like we are going through now. For examples like Ebola, SARS and MERS and scientists all over the world have not rest in trying to find a vaccine to eliminate these terrible diseases. What is known that all these diseases contain the same coronavirus. So during the COVID 19 pandemic government poured millions of dollar so that scientists can produce vaccine to eliminate this virus. There were no sinister motive in producing these vaccines rather than to save lives.
Satisfied with the answers to my question medically I looked for answers historically. I found that since creation there were pandemic, epidemic and plague. Ecclesiastes assured me that there is nothing new in this world we live in. It happend in Biblical times where they did social distancing and isolation when pandemic occurs. There were other ones like the Spanish flu and was estimated to have killed somewhere between 20 and 50 million people worldwide. It occurred from 1918 to 1919, overlapping the end of World War I. With all these pandemics scientists/doctors have comes up with vaccines that saved millions of lives.
(Pictured: Rev Jone Kacivi receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine)
For me personally, Doctors/Scientists and Nurses are the hands and feet of Jesus in this world. We have been seeing them when we are sick, they give us our prescription for our medication without questioning their ability, qualifications and authenticity. Suddenly we are questioning them now. On the other hand, we continue to go to restaurants and never question the ingredients used in preparing our food. We continue to fly on aeroplanes without questioning the pilot’s qualification and abilities rather we trust them to fly us to our destination safely.
“For me, the vaccine is the answer to our prayer and acknowledging that the all-knowing, all-powerful and ever-present God is hearing our prayer and intervening in our present situation.”
No one in his or her right mind will want to hurt another human being. Theologically I am always driven by my love for God and love for his people. During this pandemic, our first response was to go into prayer and fasting. Like Nehemiah, we are acknowledging that we cannot save ourselves and others rather we asking God to intervene in our present dilemma. For me, the vaccine is the answer to our prayer and acknowledging that the all-knowing, all-powerful and ever-present God is hearing our prayer and intervening in our present situation (loving God part). Taking the vaccine is the loving others part. Where we taking it not only for our own safety but also for the safety of others who are the most vulnerable (old, those with chronic disease) in our society.
Wah Sing the owner of Rawai City said this about the vaccine and I quote, “The best vaccine in the world is the one that is available.”
Jesus said, ““Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Matthew 10:28 NLT
The choice is always yours, choose well, a choice that always reflect your love for God and your neighbors.
God bless us all!!!
Rev. Jone Kacivi.