Sacred Heart of Jesus Church - Serving the Communities of South Bend and Lakeville, Indiana
Should I get the vaccine when it is my turn?”  The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in its statement on December 11, rightly described getting vaccinated as an “act of charity.”  It is also an act of Solidarity. 
 
Getting vaccinated not only decreases one’s chances of infecting someone else—something that even otherwise healthy people can easily and unknowingly do—but also sends an important public signal to people who belong to high-risk populations that we are doing our parts to keep them safe:  health care workers, the elderly, prisoners and the poor.  “Being vaccinated safely against Covid-19,” said the USCCB statement, “should be considered an act of love of our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.” 

I guess that lays the case for why, the rest is up to how much good Christian (and Catholic) people care about those most vulnerable as they go out and mingle among them as many do, even if in the most cautious of ways at this time.
       
I’ve heard some say—not just a few—that “I just put my life in the hands of God. I don’t need the vaccine.”  To which I would say, true, we all have our lives in the hands of God whether we want to acknowledge it or not.  If I needed surgery or had a heart attack, or a broken leg, I would not simply say, “I’m in God’s hands.”  God would say, “Get to the doctor!”  God also gave man (became one with him) the knowledge and talents to address such matters as killing viruses, and many other things that science and gifted doctors and epidemiologists, etc., address for the sake of the common good.  As we were always taught, “God helps those who help themselves.”  We use the gifts and talents given us and we are irresponsible not to do so.  It is not really a matter of simply “putting our lives in God’s hands” as the Bishops of the USCCB point out.  It is a matter of charity and care about others, and among them the most vulnerable.  It goes along with our commitment to “right to life.”  Not sure how anyone could see it otherwise.

The February issue of America Magazine provides a much fuller article on this very topic and its discussion.  You may look for it at their website.  I would reprint it for you if I could or we had the room in the bulletin to do so.

For the pandemic to come to an end—to allow us to reopen our churches, schools, and workplaces—a significant portion of the population must be vaccinated (Archbishop of Miami).  While vaccination is not a moral obligation as a rule, from an ethical point of view, the morality of vaccination depends not only on the duty to protect one’s own health, but also on the duty to pursue the common good.  Hopefully, this will be helpful to you who read the bulletin and who have mixed feelings about whether or not to be vaccinated. In the end, it is not “just about me.”~Fr. John