On Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked if President Biden could speak to Americans regarding “ethical concerns” of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Psaki replied to the EWTN News White House Press member that Pope Francis has spoken on the “safety and efficacy” of all three COVID-19 vaccines.
“He [Biden] would say, I know the Pope has spoken to the safety and efficacy of all three vaccines, and the American people—these vaccines have been validated by health and medical experts. They’re trying to save people’s lives, keep people safe, and return our country to normal.”
Last December, the US Catholic Bishops Conference and Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) said it was “morally permissible” to receive the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and Moderna. The AstraZeneca vaccine was deemed “more morally compromised,” and “should be avoided” unless there are no alternatives.
“In view of the gravity of the current pandemic and the lack of availability of alternative vaccines, the reasons to accept the new COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are sufficiently serious to justify their use, despite their remote connection to morally compromised cell lines. It may turn out, however, that one does not really have a choice of vaccine, at least, not without a lengthy delay in immunization that may have serious consequences for one’s health and the health of others. In such a case it would be permissible to accept the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
Taking the vaccines “ought to be understood as an act of charity toward the other members of our community.”
“In this way, being vaccinated safely against COVID-19 should be considered an act of love of our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.”
Receiving any of the three, however, should not “desensitize us or weaken our determination to oppose the evil of abortion itself and the subsequent use of fetal cells in research.”
The CDF in its statement, however, did not comment on the safety or efficacy of the vaccines, only the morality of receiving them.
“We do not intend to judge the safety and efficacy of these vaccines, although ethically relevant and necessary, as this evaluation is the responsibility of biomedical researchers and drug agencies.”
After receiving his first dose, Pope Francis said receiving the vaccine is an “an ethical action, because you are gambling with your health, you are gambling with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others.”
“I believe that, ethically, everyone has to get the vaccine. I don’t understand why some say this could be a dangerous vaccine. If doctors present it to you as something that can be fine and has no special dangers, why not take it?”