Catholic Bishops now urge Kenyans to take COVID-19 vaccine
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has now come out to urge Kenyans to take the COVID-19 vaccine being availed by the government through the Ministry of Health.
According to KCCB, taking the jab is akin to an act of love and charity towards one’s neighbours and community members as part of a moral responsibility to stop the spread of the disease.
The conference also noted that taking the vaccine is a voluntary decision, however warning those who decline it to avoid becoming vehicles of transmitting COVID-19.
“The Church notes that it is licit and ethically acceptable to receive all COVID-19 vaccines that the Ministry of Health recognizes as clinically genuine, safe and effective. Consequently, we urge the Ministry of Health to take all the necessary steps required to affirm to the public that the vaccines are genuine, safe and effective in order to encourage people to be vaccinated,” read a statement from KCCB Chairman Most Rev. Philip Anyolo.
“In the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the COVID-19 pandemic, the common good calls for vaccination, primarily to protect the weakest and most exposed. In this regard, receiving the available COVID-19 vaccines ought to be understood as an act of charity towards other community members and considered an act of love of our neighbour and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.”
Most Rev. Anyolo added: “We note that vaccination is not, as a rule, an obligation and therefore it can only be done on voluntary basis and at the discretion of an individual after giving informed consent. We therefore appeal to the consciences of Kenyans to accept the COVID-19 vaccines in the light of the assurance given by the Ministry of Health. However, those who for reasons of conscience or otherwise decline the vaccination, must avoid becoming vehicles for the transmission of the COVID-19 by strictly adhering to the containment protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health.”
The Catholic Bishops further distanced themselves from a recent statement by the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association (KCDA) which had called on Kenyans to reject the jab.
KCDA had argued that all COVID-19 vaccines are experimental and can only reduce the risks of death but will not stop infection or transmission of the disease.
However, according to Most Rev. Anyolo, the advisory from the doctors was made in their own capacity and not on behalf of Catholic Bishops.
“It must be understood that those doctors cannot and should not purport to speak in the name of the Catholic Church,” he stated.
“We, the Catholic Bishops in Kenya, avail our vast network of healthcare facilities to be utilized to ensure the vaccination programme is rolled out in an objective and well-coordinated manner and that the vaccine reaches the most vulnerable as stipulated in the vaccination roll-out plan.”
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