Although most states allow religious exemptions to vaccines, it is important to keep in mind that very few religions actually oppose vaccines.
That’s where the National Catholic Bioethics Center comes in.
They answer a lot of questions people might have on the Catholic Church’s teaching on vaccines, including “the Church’s teaching about the use of certain vaccines that have a distant historical association with abortion.”
They also state that:
One is morally free to use the vaccine regardless of its historical association with abortion. The reason is that the risk to public health, if one chooses not to vaccinate, outweighs the legitimate concern about the origins of the vaccine. This is especially important for parents, who have a moral obligation to protect the life and health of their children and those around them.
On the question of “Am I free to refuse to vaccinate myself or my children on the grounds of conscience?,” the National Catholic Bioethics Center answers that:
One must follow a certain conscience even if it errs, but there is a responsibility to inform one’s conscience properly. There would seem to be no proper grounds for refusing immunization against dangerous contagious disease, for example, rubella, especially in light of the concern that we should all have for the health of our children, public health, and the common good.
So they are saying you are both “morally free” to use the vaccines and “have a moral obligation” to get vaccinated.
For more information:
- National Catholic Bioethics Center FAQ on the Use of Vaccines
- You Can Be the Pro-Life Parent of a Fully Vaccinated Child
- Catholics urged to remember ‘common good’ in vaccine debate
- Human Cell Strains in Vaccine Development
- Vatican Statement on Vaccines Derived From Aborted Human Fetuses
- Cultural Perspectives on Vaccination
- Talking about Vaccines: Religious Concerns