Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby of the Church of England said during an interview that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is a moral issue, though when pressed about the matter, he declined to go as far as saying that vaccine refusal is immoral or a sin.
"Is being vaccinated a moral issue?" Julie Etchingham of ITV asked Welby.
Welby said that he does believe it is a moral matter.
He said, "It's not about me and my rights. Now obviously there are some people who for health reasons can't be vaccinated, different question. But it's not about me and my rights to choose. It's about how I love my neighbor."
Welby said that getting vaccinated lowers the odds of getting sick, which lowers the potential of infecting other people.
"So I would say yes, to love one another as Jesus said, get vaccinated, get boosted," he said.
"Is it a sin not to get it if you are in good health and there is no clear health reason not to have it?" Etchingham asked.
"I practice sin well but I'm not very good at judging it. Sin or not, I would say, let's be positive, go and do it," Welby replied.
Etchingham then asked whether it is immoral to forego vaccination.
Welby urged people to "go and get boosted, get vaccinated. It's how we love our neighbor. Loving our neighbor is what Jesus told us to do. It's Christmas, do what he said."
"So you’re not loving them if you don't do it?" Etchingham pressed.
Welby responded that there are many ways to love your neighbors, "but one really practical way is getting vaccinated.
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