SEATTLE – The bishops of Washington state are encouraging Catholics to “get the COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves, loved ones, and the community.”
In a December 12 statement put out by the Washington State Catholic Conference, the bishops — Archbishop Paul D. Etienne and Auxiliary Bishops Eusebio Elizondo and Daniel Mueggenborg of Seattle, Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane and Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima — said they joined the state’s Catholic Charities agencies and Catholic health care organizations in making their recommendation.
In response to moral concerns about the development of the vaccines, the bishops cited the chairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committees on doctrine and pro-life activities, who concluded that it is morally permissible to receive the vaccines.
The bishops also noted concerns about the risk of side effects. “It is not uncommon to experience minor side effects from being vaccinated,” the said. “People may feel temporarily uncomfortable, but the benefits from the vaccine exceed the burden.”
The bishops pledged to promote vaccination “in collaboration with state and local governments and other entities,” advocate for “vulnerable populations” to ensure their access to the vaccines, and provide “regular and accurate information to parishioners and the community in support of morally acceptable, safe, and effective COVID-19 vaccines.”
“We still have much work to do,” the bishops said, “but we now have hope and a path forward rooted in the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. We place our trust and confidence in the providence of God.”