Baháʼí Perspectives on COVID-19 Vaccination

Practice Justice and Equity

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States released a statement encouraging all Bahá’í institutions to “adhere scrupulously to public health guidelines that have been established in their state and locality. This includes protocols for safe social distancing, face masking, handwashing, sanitation, and vaccination.”

Among other things, it emphasized the importance of vaccination from an ethical standpoint, citing a statement by the Bahá’í House of Justice which argued that Bahá’ís “should not be concerned merely with their own personal choices and well-being, but in reaching their decisions, they should also consider their social responsibilities and the common good.”

Furthermore, Baha’i leaders have pointed out the importance of an equitable approach to COVID vaccination, arguing that their central precept—the oneness of humanity—calls for “each of us to recognize our unity and inter-connectedness with one another, to actually practice justice and equity for the entire human family." They affirmed the important epidemiological precept that “the world will never be safe from the virus, and the global economy can never recover, unless and until developing countries receive vaccines, too,” and they urged the United States to join global efforts to “facilitate the equitable access and distribution of these vaccines to protect people in all countries—not just those who live in developed nations that have the economic ability to vaccinate all of their citizens.”

Although Baha’i scriptures contain no explicit prohibition against vaccination, Bahá’u’lláh himself instructed his followers to “consult a good physician” when ill, a teaching which many Baha’is point to as supporting medical intervention in health.

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