Religious Concerns: Resources & Information

Healthcare professionals who see parents and patients with religious concerns about immunization may find these materials useful. In general, religions around the world support immunization.

Materials for Providers

Need Help Responding to Vaccine-Hesitant Parents?

A list of science-based materials available from respected organizations.

Materials for Vaccine Recipients

Reliable Sources of Immunization Information: Where Parents Can Go to Find Answers!

Handout listing’s top choices for reliable information.

What the World’s Religions Teach, Applied to Vaccines and Immune Globulins

Patient concerns are evaluated against religious sources. Also, see supplemental Notable Scripture Passages.

More From

Printable resources and links to partner organizations to help you address hesitancy related to vaccination-related anxiety.

Printable resources designed to help healthcare professionals in all aspects of immunization practice. experts answer challenging questions about vaccines.

Information sheets produced by CDC that explain both the benefits and risks of a vaccine to vaccine recipients.

Real-life accounts of suffering and loss.

From our affiliated site, information about the importance of vaccines and answers to many common questions.

Statements from Religious Organizations

Human Fetal Cells

Explained in common language, this article from the Catholic News Agency explains the relative acceptability of vaccines against COVID-19 in relation to remote fetal origins of assays or production methods. (December 14, 2020)

Pope Francis approves the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith statement on the morality of the COVID-19 vaccines (December 21, 2020).

Written by Edward J. Furton, this article first appeared in National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly in spring of 2004.

Written by Daniel P. Maher,  this article first appeared in National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly in spring of 2002.

Written by Edward J. Furton, this article first appeared in Ethics & Medics, Volume 24, Number 3.

A national, physician-led community of healthcare professionals (renewed in 2015).

The Institute for Vaccine Safety, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, provides information about ethics and religious aspects arising from use of human cell lines in vaccines.

Use of Porcine and Animal Products

Statement from Rabbi Adler concerning the use of porcine and animal products in vaccines.

The Institute for Vaccine Safety, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, provides information for certain Muslims and Jews who have concerns about vaccines that contain components with porcine (pork) origins.

A World Health Organization letter signed by Dr. Hussein A. Gezairy.

Rabbinical Statements on Vaccines

The Orthodox Union (OU) and the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) strongly urge all parents to vaccinate their healthy children on the timetable recommended by their pediatrician. addresses Torah law on health and specific issues about vaccination.

A review of the origins of vaccination in medical and rabbinical literature. (Jewish Action, quarterly magazine publication of the Orthodox Union, Winter 2008)

There is an obligation upon every father to vaccinate his children to prevent spread of the disease—as is the law of the Torah to follow the majority view of experts. (The Yeshiva Word, November 2018)

From the Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Detroit, also known as the Vaad Harabbonim, a notice about following guidelines to ensure vaccination. (March 2019)

In light of a measles outbreak, an open letter from Bikur Cholim encouraging Jewish community leaders to speak out and encourage Jewish day schools to require vaccines. (Jewish Journal, May 3, 2019)

The consensus view of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism on the vital role vaccines play in ensuring individual and public health. (Union for Reform Judaism, 2015)

From the Central Conference of American Rabbi (CCAR), the Reform Rabbinic leadership organization. (1999)

Trusted Organizations

History of Vaccines (The College of Physicians of Philadelphia)

Covers the manufacturing process for viral vaccines and the use of human diploid cells.

From the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, this article includes a discussion on religious perspectives and objections to vaccination.

NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

From BMC Health Services Research, August 1, 2012, the aim of this study is to gain insight into healthcare professionals responding to parents with religious objections to vaccination of their children.

Additional Resources

Almost no religions object to them, so Slate asks what exactly does one have to do to qualify for a religious exemption, and how is it different from the similar sounding “personal belief” exemption? (, February 5, 2015)

This article covers the work of nurses in the Orthodox Jewish Nurses Association’s Vaccine Task Force and their efforts to stop measles (, April 3, 2019).

A blog post by graduates of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health who are public health educators focusing on vaccine communication (Columbia Climate School, April 10, 2019).


Paul A. Offit, MD, Discusses Religious Exemptions from Important Vaccinations

In this 2015 video, Dr. Paul Offit discusses his book, Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine.

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