A coalition of more than 50 U.S. Catholic organizations is marking World Health Day by announcing unified support to encourage constituents and faith communities to accept vaccination as an act of charity and solidarity with others that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and build immunity against the virus.
The coalition is promoting vaccine equity in the U.S. and around the world, drawing on Catholic social teaching, for people who are underserved or marginalized. This includes communities of color, rural areas, and others with limited vaccine availability in the U.S., as well as access for developing countries and among refugees and other displaced people who may not be citizens in their current home.
Recognizing there has been differing information and understanding about the vaccines, the Catholic organizations are joining together to promote the common good and amplify the teachings of Pope Francis and U.S. Catholic Bishops on accepting the vaccine as they become available and promoting equitable distribution.
The coalition is also encouraging Catholics to recognize there are moral reasons for taking personal responsibility in an effort to end the pandemic so that society, particularly the most vulnerable, can attain physical, mental, and economic wellness.
Each organization in the coalition has committed to three major goals.
- Leverage their communication channels and resources to share consistent information about the importance and moral responsibility of individuals to accept a COVID-19 vaccine when available.
- Provide human, spiritual, and pastoral support for those struggling to understand, affirm, and act on Catholic social teaching, including the teachings of Pope Francis and the U.S. Catholic Bishops.
- Advocate for the equitable distribution of the vaccine in the U.S. and globally.
The coalition is providing information and resources on issues related to COVID-19 vaccines at www.catholiccares.com.