Moral Considerations of Receiving COVID-19 Vaccines Feb 26, 2021
Catholics within the Brisbane Archdiocese are currently seeking guidance on receiving COVID-19 vaccines, most notably highlighting concerns on moral aspects. This refers to the use of the vaccines that have some connection to cell lines derived from aborted foetuses.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, based at the Vatican, has provided guidance on this matter. On 21 December 2020, the Congregation issued a document entitled Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines. Pope Francis had seen this document and ordered its publication.
In summary, this note states that the use of these vaccines is acceptable given the “grave danger” of spreading the coronavirus. The Doctrinal Office insists that it is not giving “moral endorsement” to the vaccines in question but noted that connection to aborted material is “remote”.
The note does not recommend that vaccination against the coronavirus be made mandatory. However, it states “the morality of vaccination depends not only on the duty to protect one’s own health, but also on the duty to pursue the common good.
“In the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the epidemic, the common good may recommend vaccination, especially to protect the weakest and most exposed.
“All vaccinations recognised 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.”
The note recognises that some people may not wish to take the vaccine. If that is the case, the note states that those people “must do their utmost to avoid … becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent”.
We encourage you to read the full document: https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20201221_nota-vaccini-anticovid_en.html