Catholic Teaching on Vaccinations and Covid-19 Vaccines

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The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated families and communities around the world. Finally, there is hope for the end of the pandemic coming in the form of vaccines that deemed safe and effective by FDA and medical community and morally acceptable by Vatican, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and California Catholic Conference of Bishops, as well as National Catholic Bioethics Center and Charlotte Lozier Institute.

As a faith community concerned about the sanctity of human life, the Diocese of San Jose encourages everyone to strongly consider getting vaccinated, after consulting their physicians or health care providers, for the sake of their own health and the common good of our community.

The Diocese of San Jose also urges local government leaders to ensure safe and affordable access to these vaccines, most especially for vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.

Vaccines are free. Health insurance and immigration status will not affect your eligibility. To book a vaccine appointment with your healthcare system or at one of the County’s open-to-all locations or get a list of this week’s no-appointment sites, visit  Appointment information is also available in  中文 | Español | Tiếng Việt | Tagalog

Statements on the Moral and Ethical Aspects

The moral questions raised by the connection of some vaccines to past abortions are not new to the Catholic Church. Since 2005, the Catholic Church has provided consistent guidance on these matters. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, various Church bodies have promulgated specific guidance regarding the COVID-19 vaccines.



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Vatican CDF says use of anti-Covid vaccines “morally acceptable” (December 2020) La CDF califica a las vacunas anti-Covid como “moralmente aceptables”
Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith’s Note Nota sobre la moralidad del uso de algunas vacunas contra la Covid-19 
Statement of the Vatican Covid-19 Commission in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Life. Nota de la Comisión Vaticana Covid-19 en colaboración con la Academia Pontificia para la Vida Vacuna para todos. 20 puntos para un mundo más justo y sano

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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YouTube Video – COVID-19 Vaccines – Moral and Ethical Concerns  

U.S. Bishop Chairmen for Doctrine and for Pro-Life Address the Use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has judged that ‘when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available … it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.’[1] 

Los Presidentes de los Comités de Doctrina y Actividades Pro-Vida de la USCCB se Pronuncian Sobre el Uso de la Vacuna de Johnson & Johnson contra el Covid-19.

La Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe ha juzgado que ‘cuando las vacunas contra el COVID-19, que son éticamente irreprochables no están disponibles…, es moralmente aceptable recibir vacunas contra el COVID-19 que han utilizado líneas celulares de fetos abortados en su proceso de investigación y producción’. [1]

Moral Considerations Regarding the New COVID-19 Vaccines Consideraciones Morales Con Respecto A Las Nuevas Vacunas Contra El Covid-19
Answers to Key Ethical Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines Respuestas a las preguntas éticas clave sobre las vacunas contra el covid-19

California Catholic Conference

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Vaccinate to Protect Health of Yourself and Your Community Vacúnese para proteger su salud y la de su comunidad
California Catholic Conference, Catholic Healthcare Ministries and Charities Support COVID-19 Vaccinations Conferencia Católica de California, Ministerios de la Salud Católicos y Caridades Católicas Apoyan Vacunas Contra el COVID-19
Catholic Moral Teaching and Tradition on COVID-19 Vaccines La doctrina moral y tradición católica sobre las vacunas contra el COVID-19

Other Bioethics Resources

General Sources:

  • Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Dignitatis personae(see especially nn. 34-35). [link]
  • Pontifical Academy for Life (2017), “Note on Italian Vaccine Issue.” [link]
  • Pontifical Academy for Life (2005), “Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Foetuses.” [link]

Specific to COVID-19 Vaccines:

  • The National Catholic Bioethics Center, “Points to Consider on the Use of COVID-19 Vaccines.” [link]
  • The Catholic Medical Association, “Information Regarding Degrees of Responsibility of Vaccine Usage.” [link]
  • The Charlotte Lozier Institute, “Update: COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates and Abortion-Derived Cell Lines.” [link]

Parish Resources

More will be added as they become in available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese