The Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church, has said its members have been taking vaccines against viruses and diseases from time immemorial and has called on members of the church across the country to consider “responsible immunisation” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This follows the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
In a statement issued by the church and signed by the President of the Church in Ghana, Pastor Thomas Techie Ocran, the SDA said: “On the current debates on the COVID-19, we wish to inform our members that vaccines have long been used by Adventist church members throughout the world.
“As we witness the global magnitude of the pandemic, the deaths, disability and long-term COVID-19 effects that are emerging in all age groups, we encourage our members to consider responsible immunisation.”
The statement continued that: “The stand of the Adventist church is based on its strong teachings and practices on health and well-being informed by biblical revelation, writing of Ellen G White (co-founder of the church) and on peer-reviewed scientific literature.”
It further continued that: “It is worth noting however that the corporate church is not the conscience of the individual church member, and we recognise individual choices.”
It emphasised that: “These are exercised by the individual. The choice by a member not to be immunised is not and should not be seen as the dogma nor the doctrine of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.”
Responding to claims by some persons that the COVID-19 vaccine is the mark of the beast, the church explained, it does not believe that “the mark of the beast” is a literal mark,” but rather a sign of allegiance that identifies the bearer as loyal to the power represented by the beast.”
Ghana has received 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India (Covishield).
The consignment was delivered today, February 24, 2021.
This is the first consignment of vaccines acquired through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) which Ghana, among 92 countries has signed unto.
The Minister-designate of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu and officials from the Ghana Health Service were at the Kotoka International Airport.