NZ bishops urging everyone to have covid vaccine

New Zealand’s Catholic Bishops Conference is urging everyone to have a covid vaccine when it becomes available.

Conference President Cardinal Dew says the bishops took their advice about vaccines from reputable doctors, scientists and the bishops’ own bioethics agency, the Nathaniel Centre.

“Everyone, including Catholics, has a moral responsibility to protect themselves and others by getting a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as they become eligible for it under the Government’s planned vaccine programme.”

Dew is also making it clear that the Conference rejects the false information circulating on the internet and elsewhere claiming vaccines should not be used.

He is also reminding everyone of what can happen when people don’t take advantage of vaccination. The 2019-20 New Zealand measles epidemic happened because only about 80 per cent of the population were vaccinated, he said.

It then spread to Samoa where over 80 people died, most of them babies and children.

“To protect everyone against a disease, it is vital that most people in a country be vaccinated,” he says. Vaccinations work.

The pope is lamenting choices made by those refusing vaccination, saying: “I believe that morally, everyone must take the vaccine. It is the moral choice because it is about your life [and] the lives of others.”

In relation to the moral implications associated with the vaccine, Dew says Francis has clarified that there is no religious reason to reject vaccination. This includes vaccines created with cell lines originating from tissue from human foetuses aborted several decades ago.

While Catholic teaching opposes abortion, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says the “grave danger” of spreading Covid-19 outweighs those concerns when “ethically irreproachable vaccines are not available.”

It was “morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.” Pope Francis endorsed that statement on 17 December.

Pope Francis and his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI were both vaccinated against Covid-19 this week at the Vatican.


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News category: New Zealand.

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