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Doubly-Remote Cooperation in Evil & Vaccines

Doubly-Remote Cooperation in Evil & Vaccines November 23, 2020

The whole question of vaccines has been simmering in Catholic circles for a while. When COVID vaccines started to be developed, this came up more. Now that we are closing in on approval, it is a big issue. I decided to write a piece on the Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines. My unique angle is to examine degrees of remoteness in cooperation in evil or appropriation of evil. The main point being that once you get to these the steps are so remote that we should have no moral issues using these vaccines.

Public Discourse published it so I’ll take a snippet and ask you to follow the link if you want more.

This month, two vaccines for COVID-19 finished their final tests. They proved to be 90–94 percent effective at preventing COVID, and both vaccines have been ethically produced. This is very good news indeed. Some have raised moral qualms about getting these vaccines, but the moral issues with both are so remote and minor that they should prevent nobody from getting either of them.

COVID-19 vaccine cartoon
COVID-19 vaccine cartoon (CC0 pixaby)

On November 10, Pfizer announced the results of its final test showing 90 percent effectiveness against COVID. On the 16th, Moderna announced similar results with a 94 percent effectiveness. Both of these vaccines are part of a new set of vaccines using artificial mRNA technology. Earlier vaccines used a dead or attenuated version of the virus that was grown on some form of stem cells in a petri dish. Both new vaccines make RNA strands in a machine rather than in cells. Thus, what is injected is not even a virus at all. […]

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines seem to pose no significant moral concern. The Charlotte Lozier Institute is keeping a good list of the COVID vaccines. Some are listed as unethical, as they use HEK293 or similar cells in production.

Read more on Public Discourse.

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