ABWE Vaccination Policy
An important aspect of the ABWE value of biblical family atmosphere is the care and well-being of every person who works or serves with us. Our desire is to maximize the fruitfulness of each missionary by assisting them to optimize their health. Moreover, we honor the biblical principles of family structure and parental authority.
Recognizing the importance of wellness care in optimizing health, we value vaccinations as an integral part of maintaining personal and communal health. Therefore, ABWE recommends that all missionaries and their families have current immunizations as outlined in Healthcare Resources on Central.
ABWE will advise missionaries on the importance of vaccinations in preventing avoidable life-threatening illnesses and their effect on communities. Each missionary will assume responsibility for their personal health decisions and those of their dependents. Our doctors and resources are available to assist individuals and families in making decisions regarding vaccinations. Because decisions to reject professional medical advice can have dangerous life-threatening repercussions, an international missionary who chooses not to act in accordance with ABWE’s Strongly Recommended Vaccination List must receive either a medical exemption or submit a waiver signed by themselves and by their sending church.
Vaccination needs vary according to age groups and international locations. Some countries require certain vaccinations which ABWE cannot waive. While the decision not to follow ABWE’s Strongly Recommended Vaccination List does not preclude missionary service with ABWE, it may shape one’s opportunities to serve in certain countries.
During the medical evaluation at New Missionary Orientation, the ABWE Medical Director will discuss with each missionary the recommended vaccinations for their desired country of service and waivers required for those who choose not to vaccinate. The Medical Director will review the vaccination status of each missionary and their dependents at the time of medical clearance before departure and then every five years.
Our Medical Director is available to discuss all vaccination policy questions and vaccination schedule modifications. Some individuals may be medically precluded from receiving certain vaccines; in those cases, the Medical Director will give vaccine-specific medical exemptions based on documented adverse effects.
Missionaries with ABWE Canada will need to follow ABWE Canada’s Vaccination Policy.
Updated June 2021