THE PASSERBY | To vaccinate or not?

by Fr. Roy Cimagala

THIS is the burning question at the moment. While the general response should be, yes, we should, there are serious questions and issues raised around this matter. It’s usually the public officials who are pushing the official line that we should get vaccinated. And I think that’s very understandable.

But some people, who also have their own credentials, say otherwise. They talk about a sinister conspiracy being hatched in this matter, about a certain plan by some powerful men to control people’s lives, to eliminate certain people due to overpopulation, etc.

Others, who are in the medical and research field, say that the vaccines presently made available are still in their experimental stage. Their effectivity is put in doubt. In fact, there are reports of some terrible side effects of a few of those who have already been vaccinated.

Still others claim that some of these vaccines being developed make use of tissues from aborted babies, raising the question about the morality in the use of these vaccines. In this point, a sharp debate is ongoing.

Obviously, these claims just cannot be dismissed outright. But we need a lot of time and expertise to sort out which ones are true and which ones are false. Sometimes we get the sensation of being between the devil and the deep blue sea, of being between a rock and a hard place, of being damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

We are indeed all thrown into confusion, which should remind us of the story about the tower of Babel. (Gen 11,1-9) Could this present state of public dilemma and perplexity a reprise of that biblical story that gives us a painful lesson about humility and about always acknowledging God’s power properly?

Especially now with our powerful communication technologies, we find ourselves awash with all sorts of information and data, many of which are contradicting each other. And we cannot be so naïve as to think that all these pieces of information and data are presented to us with the purest of intentions. So, who would not be confused?

We are aware that there are some people who, with their hidden agenda and in pursuit of their selfish interests, can take advantage of some extraordinary situations like what we are having these days. With their power and resources, they can easily weaponize certain things to meet their goals.

Let’s remember that Christ told us that while we should be as simple and innocent as doves, we should also be as shrewd, clever, wise and cunning as serpents. (cfr. Mt 10,16) Yes, we have to do some deep study, research and consultation here, but this will take time and the proper attitude.

In the meantime, what we can always do is to pray that we get enlightened somehow. In this life, we are not expected to judge all things correctly, to make the proper decisions all the time. We are expected to make errors, to commit mistakes, though we should try our best to avoid them.

What is truly essential is that whether in the end we are right or wrong on some issues, we should all be with God. We should follow our conscience that is properly formed and informed.

So, whether we should get vaccinated or not will be call by each one’s conscience, by one’s perception of what God is telling him. After all God knows everything and can derive good from evil. Even our mistakes will work out for the good. (cfr. Rom 8,28)


Fr. Cimagala is the Chaplain of the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE) in Talamban, Cebu City. E-mail him at