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Covid Vaccines: Should we?

by Dr Pravin Thevathasan



Covid Vaccines: Should we?

The YouTube video Covid Vaccines: May we? Should we? Must we? by a traditional Catholic priest makes some very good points. In particular, he carefully distinguishes between formal and material cooperation. What do these terms mean?  Consider the issue of abortion. The anesthetist and the theatre nurse present at an abortion are formally cooperating. They are equally guilty of the sin of abortion as the doctor carrying it out. What about the person who cleans the theatre or the electrician who makes sure that the place is running smoothly? They are not formally cooperating. They are not culpable of  the grave sin of abortion.

Let us now examine the morality of having the vaccine. Can the use of fetal cell-lines at some stage in the development of some of the vaccines make it morally bad for us to have the vaccine? We need to remember that fetal cell-lines are not the same as fetal body parts. The body parts were sourced from an abortion that occurred some decades ago. If this was a so-called therapeutic abortion, it was gravely immoral. The tissues were then used to manufacture  cell-lines. While these cell-lines are developed from the tissue, they do not include fetal material. Because I am pro-life, I will put it more bluntly: they do not have parts of the baby.

If at all possible, I would opt for a vaccine that was not manufactured in this way. However, the reality is that I may not get that choice. So may I have a vaccine whose creation involved fetal cell lines at some stage? The speaker rightly states that the person who now takes the vaccine does not formally cooperate in the grave sin of the abortion that occurred some decades previously.

But the speaker goes on to speak about the "use of the bodies of murdered children to create medicines and vaccines." Even though he should know that the cell-lines used were never part of the baby's body. The use of graphic abortion images in the presentation seems to suggest that if you are really pro-life, you should be anti-vaccine. Some of the best known pro-life groups appear to have taken this stance. So have some good bishops.

The speaker appears to believe that the mortality rate in Covid is the same as in seasonal flu. It is not. It is much higher. How much higher is difficult to estimate while we are still in a pandemic.

He correctly states that the Church is not pronouncing on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. But he himself appears to take a somewhat skeptical stance on these issues.


In my opinion, the speaker is correct to say the no one should be forced to have the vaccine. He also says that where employers require people to have the vaccine, there is no sin in doing so. He is surely correct. His opinion does not sit well with some in the traditional Catholic circle who appear to think that having the vaccine can never be justified.

I am pro-life. But I have seen the impact that Covid has had on the vulnerable and the disabled. I believe that I am acting on my pro-life beliefs when I do everything reasonably possible to keep them safe. This includes recommending that they have the vaccine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMnP70jh57k&feature=youtu.be



       
Copyright ; Dr Pravin Thevathasan 2021

Version: 3rd February 2021



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