Fr Dominic Writes: 3rd Sunday in Advent

Fr Dominic
Parish Priest

COVID-19 and Vaccination
When I was growing up in Dublin in the 1950’s there was, in nearly every class in the schools that I went to, at least one child with Polio. It was a devastating disease and for the children a very blighted childhood and severe restrictions on their choice of career as an adult. I remember the great relief and gladness when the vaccination programme was set up and then declared that Ireland was free from the dreaded disease. I have watched with interest as the vaccination programmes went across the world with the help of many Governments and key individuals, reached the poorest parts of our continents and the declaration that Polio had been eliminated.
The development of a vaccine against COVID-19 presents an important breakthrough in protecting others as well as oneself from the virus; a virus which has not only caused a global pandemic and led to a huge loss of life but has also placed a great burden on healthcare workers and systems.
Each of us has a duty to protect others from infection with its danger of serious illness, and for some, death. A vaccine is the most effective way to achieve this unless one decides to self-isolate.
Each Catholic must educate his or her conscience on the matter and decide what to do, also bearing in mind that a vaccine must be safe, effective, and universally available, especially to the poor of the world.
Catholics may in good conscience receive any of these vaccines for the good of others and themselves. In good conscience, one may refuse a particular vaccine but continues to have a duty to protect others from infection.
These are crazy and unsettling times but we must do all that we can to rid the world of this virus and vaccination is a very solid way to achieve this. Whilst waiting we must keep ourselves safe and take care of our most vulnerable.

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