The Vatican began vaccinating its employees and residents against COVID-19 Jan. 13, giving priority to its health care workers, security personnel, employees who deal with the public and older residents, employees and retirees.
Pope Francis offered prayers for the people of the United States “shaken by the recent siege on Congress” and prayed for the five people who lost their lives “in those dramatic moments” when protesters stormed the Capitol Jan. 6.
The Vatican’s doctrinal office said that when alternative vaccines are not available, it is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines developed or tested using cell lines originating from aborted fetuses.
“Only through a widespread and capillary immunization of the population will it be possible to obtain real advantages in terms of public health to achieve control of the pandemic,” Dr. Andrea Arcangeli said Dec. 11.
When Father John Fields received an email from the University of Pennsylvania Aug. 28 asking him if he wanted to participate in the third and final phase of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trial, he answered “yes” immediately.
During his weekly general audience Sept. 9, the pope said that “we see partisan interests emerging” in the search for a vaccine, and some people “are taking advantage of the situation to instigate divisions.
A spokesman for the Pontifical Academy for Life said June 15 that the academy is working on a statement specifically regarding the development of vaccines for COVID-19, which he said would follow church teaching as explained in 2008 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the academy’s 2017 note on the importance of vaccines.