The Bishops’ Conference Department for Social Justice has released a statement on the development of a vaccine against COVID-19.
It addresses ethical matters surrounding the development and distribution of a vaccine such as cell-lines which have their origin in tissues taken from human foetal tissue, as well as issues that may arise from testing, consent and justice.
“Catholics have a responsibility to voice their concerns about the origin of vaccines and argue that research and funding should be directed to sourcing a vaccine in an ethically sound way. If this is not possible, many Catholics and others will experience moral distress when faced with a choice of rejecting vaccination, either for themselves or their children, with its serious and life-threatening consequences, or seeming to be complicit in abortion. We hope that the government will ensure that ethically sourced vaccines are also available.”
The statement stresses that a vaccine should be welcomed not only for the sake of the individual but for the good of society – especially the most vulnerable:
“Catholic teaching protects the good of every life and the health of all and teaches that one must not do harm to another. A vaccine will seek to protect the whole of society from this virulent virus. Individuals should welcome the vaccine not only for the sake of their own health but also out of solidarity with others, especially the most vulnerable.”
Right Reverend Richard Moth
Chair, Department of Social Justice
You can download and read the full statement.
Read the statement on COVID-19 and Vaccination on a full web page.