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Iowa’s four Catholic Bishops issue statement encouraging use of COVID vaccine and addressing potential moral concerns

Published: Dec. 6, 2020 at 9:10 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa’s four Catholic Bishops released a statement on Friday encouraging people to take the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available and addressing the moral concerns some may have about the potential use of fetal tissue from aborted fetuses in the development of COVID vaccines.

The statement was released The Iowa Catholic Conference, the official public policy advocacy group for the Iowa Bishops, and was signed by Most Rev. Michael Jackels, Archbishop of Dubuque, Most Rev. Thomas Zinkula, Bishop of Davenport, Most Rev. R. Walker Nickless, Bishop of Sioux City and Most Rev. William Joensen, Bishop of Des Moines.

Below is the statement, issued on December 3, 2020, in its entirety:

There is encouraging news about the development and distribution of vaccines against the coronavirus. Thanks be to God.

Some people have concerns about the safety of the vaccine on account of the speed of its development and of FDA approval.

In this regard, experts explain that the speed is a testimony to scientific advances that turned years into months without compromising safety and scientific integrity.

Some people are concerned, too, about the risk of side effects. There is no scientifically proven link between vaccines and other conditions, such as autism.

It is not uncommon to experience minor side effects from being vaccinated. People may feel temporarily uncomfortable, but the benefit from the vaccine exceeds any burden.

Finally, there is troubling news that some drug companies used cell lines from the fetal tissue of an aborted baby in the design, development and production of their vaccines.

In response, the USCCB Committees on Pro-life and Doctrine had this to say:

People may in good conscience use the vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, which made only limited use of those unethical cell lines (for lab testing of the vaccine).

Morally speaking, the vaccine offered by these two companies is relatively remote from the evil of abortion, and so need not trouble anyone’s conscience to use either one.

In contrast, some other companies use a cell line from the fetal tissue of an aborted baby in the design, development, production, and lab testing of their COVID vaccines.

If possible, those vaccines should not be used. If there is no alternative available, however, people may in good faith use them against the serious health risk of COVID.

The common good of public health takes precedence over any reservation about being treated with vaccines; they will not be effective if people do not use them.

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