Ethics of a Coronavirus Vaccine

The world is anxiously awaiting a vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic that could help countries around the world reopen their economies, schools, and bring back some semblance of normalcy to everyday life. Some Catholics and people of good will, however, are concerned with how these vaccines may be created.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, KS, Chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, joined Morning Air to address concerns that some have about a potential vaccine and the moral implications it may carry.

“There are some vaccines that have been developed in the past from cell lines that come from aborted fetuses. And it’s not necessary that the vaccines be developed from these cell lines, and so we’re encouraging Catholics and people of all good will to communicate to the FDA and to public officials that we want a vaccine and we want it tomorrow, but we don’t want one that’s complicated, by the way that it is developed, morally,” said Archbishop Naumann.

The USCCB is taking this very seriously and has reached out to the FDA to make their concerns known. “We’ve tried to communicate with them in a respectful way, in a very direct way. To my knowledge, we haven’t gotten a response back from the FDA yet but the good news is there are many in the administration that share our concerns. We’re encouraged by … others in the administration to be vigilant on this. We’re hopeful that the FDA will respond in a positive way to our request.”

What should we do if there are no ethical choices when a vaccine has been developed? John Harper posed this question to Archbishop Naumann, who answered: “That’s not our focus right now; our focus is to prevent that moral dilemma. And I think we have an opportunity at this moment to be proactive.”

Rather than worry about what could happen, now is the time to do something about it and work to prevent a moral dilemma for the future. Contact the FDA or your local public health or government officials and request an ethically-produced vaccine that is not developed from aborted fetal cells.

For more information about the ethics of a Coronavirus vaccine, listen to the full segment:


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Lindsey Kettner serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a wife, mother, and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she studied journalism and advertising. She writes daily at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.