Skip to main content

NIH Director: 'Love Thy Neighbor' and Get Vaccinated

Share This article

ABOVE: Watch CBN News Medical Reporter Lorie Johnson's story and the full-length interview with National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins. 

Now that three vaccines are available in the U.S., made by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, President Biden, and health experts believe there will be enough to vaccinate the entire adult population by Memorial Day.  The key, however, will be getting those shots into arms.

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins told CBN News if the vast majority of Americans get their vaccine as soon as one is made available to them, our country could begin getting back to normal life as early as this summer.

Collins, a devout Christian, led the team that mapped the human genome, which many scientists consider to be the most important undertaking of our time. Collins wrote the best-seller The Language of God, which presents evidence for belief in God.

***Start Your Day with CBN News QuickStart!!! Go here to sign up for QuickStart and other CBN News emails and download the FREE CBN News app to ensure you keep receiving news from a Christian Perspective.***

He says the proliferation of current vaccines could signal the beginning of the end of the pandemic.

"For me as a scientist who is also a Christian this is an answer to a lot of prayers," he said, "And it feels as if this is the way in which God is helping us get through this."

Collins advised people to take whichever vaccine is first offered to them.

"The vaccines, which I've had a big part in helping get developed, have been tested in the most rigorous imaginable trials, they've been shown safe and effective," he said.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been criticized by some for using a cell line from a decades-old abortion in its creation.  However, Collins points out many pro-life advocates deem it advantageous nonetheless.

"Certainly the Catholic Church as represented by the Vatican has said it is moral for individuals to take advantage of such vaccines if in so doing they may be helping save lives and we do believe all of these vaccines can save lives."

READ: What You Need to Know About the Leading Coronavirus Vaccines

Collins disputes misinformation largely on social media claiming the J & J vaccine contains fetal cells.  Instead, he explains that the cells from the original abortion have been continuously replicated in a lab to the point where they're now thousands of generations removed.

"Some people are I think troubled by the idea that the vaccine that's going into their arm had that history," he said, "It does not have any of those cells in it. But it has that history of having been used in that way, and I understand therefore why some will look at the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and think, 'Maybe that's not the one I would prefer to get.'"

For now, however, people can not choose which vaccine they get.

"I would be reluctant to suggest that anybody just wait until they get the one they like because that might be waiting a while and in the meantime, people can still get sick," he said.

Collins sees people taking the shot as a way to "love thy neighbor," especially those with medical conditions that prevent them from getting a vaccine or from fully benefiting from one. 

"This is not just about self-serving, 'I want to be sure I don't get sick,'" he said, "It really does come down to, 'Are we going to take part in something that will help others around us?'"

Collins calls the coronavirus vaccines a gift from God.

"We humans, as God's children, have been given the tools of science to come up with our own way, to work through God's grace, to provide an opportunity to relieve pain and suffering," he said, "I think that's what vaccines are and have been all along."

So while we now know that America will have an ample supply sooner than initially expected, it's unclear how many will choose to get the vaccine.

Share This article

About The Author

Lorie Johnson

As CBN’s Senior Medical Reporter, Lorie Johnson reports on the latest information about medicine and wellness. Her goal is to provide information that will inspire people to make healthy choices. She joined CBN in 2008 and has interviewed some of the world's leading doctors and researchers from The Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Duke, and more. She kept viewers up to date throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with regular appearances onThe 700 Club, Faith Nation, and Newswatch. She has reported on many ground-breaking medical advancements, including the four-part series, Build a