Vaccine information for our parishioners

As you may already know, the FDA and the CDC have both approved the general distribution of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. St. Al’s parishioners can expect to receive these vaccines over the coming months. Some of you have inquired about the moral concerns for Catholics who wish to receive these vaccines. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has examined this issue and with regard to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, they concluded:

“In view of the gravity of the current pandemic and the lack of availability of alternative vaccines, the reasons to accept the new COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are sufficiently serious to justify their use, despite their remote connection to morally compromised cell lines.”

Furthermore, the bishops have encouraged all Catholics to receive the vaccines as “an act of charity toward the other members of our community” and a “moral responsibility”:

“Receiving one of the COVID-19 vaccines ought to be understood as an act of charity toward the other members of our community.  In this way, being vaccinated safely against COVID-19 should be considered an act of love of our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.”

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith has also issued guidance to Catholics on this issue. In its “Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid vaccines”, the Vatican acknowledges that in some countries, “ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available” and furthermore, health authorities may not allow Catholics to have a choice in receiving a particular vaccine. Therefore:

“It is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.” [2]

Additionally:

“It must therefore be considered that, in such a case, all vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion from which the cells used in production of the vaccines derive.” [3]

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