ABOUT RECEIVING COVID VACCINES
Resources to read
You may have heard from secondary sources about statements by Catholic bishops regarding moral considerations about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. At the risk of oversimplification, consider these points.
1. Faith and reason are gifts from God. The Church encourages scientific research on developing vaccines without raising questions of violating the dignity of human life during the process.
2. The concern is about the ethical development and testing of vaccines, not their efficacy rates. With the previous point in mind, there are some concerns about the vaccines, but moreso with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine and the Committee on Pro-life Activities recommend the following to Catholics who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine:
1. Considering the pandemic, it can be viewed as an act of charity to receive the vaccine. Consult with your doctor about your health condition.
2. At your appointment, if you can make a choice about which vaccine to receive, then choose Pfizer or Moderna rather than Johnson & Johnson.
3. However, if Johnson & Johnson is the only one available, then you can receive it without burdening your conscience.
This is in accord with the general teaching of the Holy See about the development & distribution of vaccines.
Pope Francis, the Holy See, Archbishop Lori and the other Catholic Bishops of Maryland encourage Catholics to get vaccinated. Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Archbishop William Lori, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, and other Church leaders have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
On February 26, 2021, i received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine (the only one available to me). God willing, I will receiv ethe second ose on March 17.
Please refer to the resources below to understand the issues. Thank you.
Father Raymond Harris
March 6, 2021
“UPDATE: Use of Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines is morally acceptable, say bishops”
The full statement from these USCCB Committees
Statement by the Maryland Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Maryland Bishops Encourage Use of COVID Vaccine”
Vatican News (official agency of The Holy See): "Vatican CDF [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] says use of anti-Covid vaccines “morally acceptable”
U.S. Bishop Chairmen for Doctrine and for Pro-Life Address the Use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine