The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which says fighting abortion is its “preeminent” priority, said last month that getting vaccinated against the coronavirus “ought to be understood as an act of charity toward the other members of our community,” according to a statement by the chairmen of its Committee on Doctrine and Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
The bishops said it is morally acceptable for Catholics to use either of the two vaccines approved for use in the U.S. — made by Pfizer and Moderna — despite a “remote connection to morally compromised cell lines.” This entailed the use of fetal cell lines for lab tests seeking to confirm the vaccines’ effectiveness.
Another leading vaccine, made by AstraZeneca and approved for use in Britain and some other countries, is “more morally compromised,” and should be avoided if there are alternatives available, the bishops said.
The Vatican plans to use the Pfizer vaccine [soon] for employees and their families, and Pope Francis — in an interview with an Italian broadcaster being aired this weekend — said he has an appointment to be vaccinated.
The Vatican has suggested it is wrong to refuse a vaccine based solely on the abortion objection, since refusal “may also result in a risk to others.”