DES MOINES — The Iowa Catholic Conference and the four Catholic Dioceses of Iowa recently launched a video campaign across Iowa to help encourage the use of the COVID-19 vaccine. Made possible in part by The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Catholic Cares Coalition and by the Iowa Department of Public Health, the campaign features Iowans from across the state sharing their reasoning for supporting the vaccine.

Iowa currently ranks 25th in residents fully vaccinated as compared to the rest of the United States, with the percentage of rural Iowa residents lagging behind those in Iowa’s urban areas. Iowa Catholics are slightly above the average when compared to other segments, yet some Catholics still struggle with the decision. The bishops of Iowa stand behind this communications effort as another way to guide and counsel Iowa Catholics, issuing the following statement.

Since the development of COVID-19 vaccines to combat the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 60% of Iowans have received the vaccine. The faithful of the Catholic Church are receiving the vaccine in larger numbers than any other denomination. Despite its effectiveness, many in the general population are hesitant to receive the vaccine.

Vaccination has been proven to be the most effective way to fight the virus, that continues to affect and kill so many. In communion with Pope Francis, the Dioceses remind the faithful that the common good of public health should take precedence over any moral reservation about receiving the vaccines; they will not be effective if people do not use them.