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The Catholic Medical Association (CMA), the largest association of Catholic physicians and healthcare professionals in the United States, opposes vaccine mandates as a condition of employment without religious exemptions.

A piece by the group in Life News reads:

Throughout the COVID–19 pandemic our organization has consistently provided reliable, up to date medical information regarding mitigation efforts and therapeutics, as well as information regarding the development and subsequent FDA emergency use authorization of three COVID-19 vaccines. In a recent survey of our members we identified a variety of reasons for choosing to receive the vaccine including concern for becoming ill with COVID-19 and preventing transmission to others in the interest of the public health and the common good. We also found that members expressed serious concerns regarding preliminary safety and efficacy data particularly with regard to the newer mRNA technology. In either case, ALL members voiced moral / ethical objection to the use of aborted fetal cell lines in development, testing and/or production of all three currently available vaccines.

The group cited the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to justify their stand, quoting: 

 “when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available…it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process…The moral duty to avoid such passive material cooperation is not obligatory… At the same time, practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary… Those who, however, for reasons of conscience, refuse vaccines produced with cell lines from aborted fetuses, must do their utmost to avoid, by other means and appropriate behavior, becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent. In particular, they must avoid any risk to the health of those…who are most vulnerable.”(emphasis added)

The group noted:

Healthcare organizations have an interest and a right to set policies that assure their patients are served in the safest environment possible. Historically, a vaccinated workforce has been an effective means of fostering that safety. While we recognize the importance of this consideration medically and ethically, the Church’s teaching is clear, that  “as a rule” vaccination “must be voluntary” and based on an individual’s personal assessment in good conscience of the medical risks / benefits and morality of a particular vaccine. This is imperative.

As calls increase for universal vaccination as a condition of employment, a lack of accommodation will result in an individual’s inability to work in their chosen vocation, lead to further shortages of essential healthcare workers, while exacerbating existing hesitancy and distrust regarding the COVID-19 vaccines.

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