No Jab, No Job

Does a Catholic who challenges official advice regarding vaccines really lack charity?

Employer mandates appear to be the next big thing in the pandemic-response saga.

My 62-year-old sister, a registered nurse, had to have the jab to keep her job. She had no underlying illnesses, but within two months after getting vaxed she contracted near-death pericarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle). The medics put her through a battery of scans and blood tests amounting to thousands of dollars. She seems to be okay so far, but most of that cost she has to pay, which by itself is mentally distressing. She can’t sue indemnified Pfizer, but she probably can lean on her employer for damages, after demanding she get the jab or lose her job. Vax boosters are coming, perhaps one every six months for different strains of virus as they emerge. No doubt she feels nervous about that. Many people have stories similar to hers.

Yet many citizens, Catholics included, stand accused by Pope Francis, some diocesan bishops, and the majority of high priests in the medical sciences, of lacking charity for challenging official advice regarding the jab.

Much debate has occurred on aspects of mask use and jabs. Let’s add this review of the history of pandemics, to show the relative status of this one.

In August 1348, The Black Death (bubonic plague) spread from London, in waves spanning 30 years, reaching a 51% crude mortality rate (CMR), killing half of the world’s 400 million people. The only care available was from heroic Catholic nuns who braved death to care for the sick and dying. Infections came from flea bites, then from human-to-human respiration and contamination from burst lymph glands, so that 70% of those infected died within days. Whole villages died within weeks, and fear raced even faster all across England. The impact on civilization was large.

Smallpox, with a 12.1% CMR, killed millions into the 20th century. Vaccinations and global collaboration finally eradicated this disease in 1980, a rare success.

In 1918 the Spanish Flu had a 2.5% CMR, killing about 50 million. Lockdowns and masks were mandated. The Surgeon General at that time testified, “No evidence was presented which would justify compelling persons at large to wear masks during an epidemic.”

The Covid-19 virus, as of August 2021, has a 0.058% CMR, slightly higher than the seasonal flu average of 0.015%. Covid-19 has not yet risen to the 2.5% CMR level of the deadly 1918 Spanish Flu. The Covid CMR may be even less because the CDC has had difficulty obtaining accurate statistics, since deaths from other than Covid may have been falsely reported by hospitals for per-case federal subsidy money.

The case can be made that it is a matter of religious principle and clear conscience to discover the whole truth in these matters. Certain Church leaders seem to imply that the Church only agrees with secular authorities on this — and that no jab means no Jesus. The U.S. bishops are divided on the topic. The bishops of South Dakota, for example, stated in August 2021 that Catholics can oppose vaccine mandates for personal health reasons, and can object to a Covid jab on religious principles (see

Clarity of thought and speech are key here.


Richard M. DellOrfano spent ten years on a cross-country pilgrimage following Christ’s instruction to minister without possessions. He is completing his autobiography: Path Perilous, My Search for God and the Miraculous.

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