Are Catholics allowed to get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Per Bishop Daniel Thomas: 

Per the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): 

  • The USCCB… has been engaged in a campaign advocating for the development of a vaccine for COVID-19 that has no link to abortion. 
  • The Congregation affirms that a serious health danger could justify use of “a vaccine which was developed using cell lines of illicit origin.” 
  • A specific example where the reasons for accepting vaccination are sufficiently serious to “justify it, even though the vaccine has been developed with the help of cell lines derived from aborted fetal cells, is the case of rubella (German measles).” It is important to note that the making of the rubella vaccine (or that of the new COVID19 vaccines) does not involve cells “taken directly from the body of an aborted child”. 
  • Neither Pfizer nor Moderna used morally compromised cell lines in the design, development, or production of the vaccine. A confirmatory test, however, employing the commonly used, but morally compromised HEK293 cell line was performed on both vaccines. Thus, while “neither vaccine is completely free from any connection to morally compromised cell lines, in this case the connection is very remote from the initial evil of the abortion.” 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.” In addition, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine 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.” 
  • See full statement at: usccb.org/moral-considerations-covid-vaccines 

Per the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and signed by Pope Francis: 

How can I advocate for vaccine reform? 

Consider sending an email to one or both of these leaders in vaccine research and development: 

Moderna: Juan Andres, Chief Technical Operations and Quality Officer Email: juan.andres@modernatx.com

Pfizer: Mikael Dolsten, Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical of Pfizer Inc.
Email: mikael.Dolsten@pfizer.com 

When emailing the above leaders, consider using wording such as: 

  • “While I am aware that no new fetal stem cells were obtained for and used in your COVID-19 vaccine, I am greatly concerned about the immoral use of fetal stem cell lines (no matter how old) being used in the vaccines I count on to protect myself and my family.” 
  • “The development of vaccines must respect all human life, created in the image and likeness of God, from conception to natural death. Stem cell lines derived from babies aborted many decades ago have been used and, in some cases, continue to be used at various stages of development of some vaccines including the new COVID-19 vaccinations. Taking innocent human life to harvest such cells and create cell lines is morally unacceptable.” 
  • “It is immoral to use tissue taken from an aborted child and create stem cell lines.” 
  • “While I am planning to receive the vaccine, I have serious moral reservations about doing so.” or “For the reasons I am about to state I will not be receiving the vaccine.” 

Other ways to Advocate: 

  • Visit the Center for Disease Control website (hcdc.gov/dcs/contactus/form) and “express your concern that they have not made vaccines available for COVID-19 that are free from (remote) connections to abortion and fetal stem cell lines obtained from abortions.” 
  • Anytime you get a vaccine, research and ask your doctor if there are any options available that do not have ties to fetal stem cells that have been obtained through abortion. 
  • If you still have moral reservations or concerns after researching, we invite you to contact the parish office and arrange to speak with one of our priests or deacons about this important matter. 

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