BY Solange DeLisle
The Catholic Health Association (CHA) of the United States wants to make sure a vaccine to protect patients against COVID-19 is both developed morally and issued fairly.
Association leaders said they believe the fundamentals of Catholic Social Teaching – which include the dignity of the human person, the common good, solidarity, subsidiarity, and the preferential option for vulnerable persons – could offer an answer to making sure a potential vaccine not only works and is safe, but also is made available to everyone.
Health care professionals acknowledge that vulnerable populations like the elderly, people with lower incomes, those with pre-existing health conditions, and minorities are more susceptible to the coronavirus.
The CHA also believes the pandemic has spotlighted the struggles some people have when trying to get access to health care, proper food, housing, plus a job that pays a livable wage.
Those factors can also contribute to health issues that would make a person more likely to catch the virus and have an outcome that’s not as favorable as those who are in a better financial position.
Those reasons are why the Catholic Health Association has suggested six guidelines to help make receiving one of these vaccines, once it’s approved, a fair process.
These guidelines, posted on the Catholic Health Association’s website, include the following recommendations: that the vaccination was proven to be safe and tested; the inoculation was scientifically proven to work; the development of the injection respected human life; that the shot should be given out fairly but given first to those most at risk of contracting the virus; that work to create and give out such vaccines is done through teamwork, and that the distribution of the vaccination should be fair and include everyone from local governments, health care workers, religious leaders and non-profits.