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If you have questions or concerns about the suitability of the vaccine for you due to health conditions or history of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), you should contact your personal physician for more specific information.
Is it morally acceptable to receive a Covid-19 vaccination?
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) stated that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the first to be approved for use in the U.S., were morally acceptable for Catholics to receive (Nov. 2020).
“Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine involved the use of cell lines that originated in fetal tissue taken from the body of an aborted baby at any level of design, development or production,” said the chairmen of the Committee on Pro-Life and the Committee on Doctrine. “They are not completely free from any connection to abortion, however, as both Pfizer and Moderna made use of a tainted cell line for one of the confirmatory lab tests of their products.
“There is thus a connection, but it is remote,” they continued. “Some are asserting that if a vaccine is connected in any way with tainted cell lines, then it is immoral to be vaccinated with them. This is an inaccurate portrayal of Catholic moral teaching.
“Most importantly,” they added, “[Church Teaching makes] it clear that, at the level of the recipient, it is morally permissible to accept vaccination when there are no alternatives and there is a serious risk to health.”
Archbishop Gomez and Auxiliary Bishop Alex Aclan both received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the morning of Jan. 21. The hospital gave orders that they return in three weeks for the required second shot.
“I am grateful for the chance to get the vaccine,” Archbishop Gomez said. “My thanks to all those in Providence Saint John’s [Santa Monica] who have been serving our community faithfully during this pandemic."
Following the injections, the two bishops were required to remain at the hospital for a 15-minute “extended observation period.” Both took the opportunity to pray with and bless members of the hospital’s vaccination team. Neither showed immediate side effects from the injection.
"I am praying today for those who are sick from this virus, for those who have lost loved ones, and I pray that this vaccine will be made available widely in every community," Archbishop Gomez added in his statement. "May our Blessed Mother Mary continue to keep all of us in her tender care.”