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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Vatican issued a new edict Tuesday declaring vaccination a "moral responsibility," after Italian authorities cracked down on a rebellion by medics questioning the COVID-19 vaccine and half the Italian population expressed reluctance to receive the jab.
The regulatory authority Omceo Roma (Order of Doctors of Rome) began disciplinary proceedings against at least 13 doctors, including prominent Catholic surgeon Mariano Amici, for claiming the COVID vaccine "risks being ineffective and even dangerous."
Antonio Magi, president of Omceo Roma, accused the health care professionals of misleading, confusing and misinforming patients on television and social media.
"It isn't a witch hunt," Magi told La Repubblica. "I have an ethical obligation to sanction those who declare falsehoods. Anyone who gives incorrect information to the public must be punished. There is a code of ethics to follow. And we have a civic and moral duty to vaccinate."
"In the history of Omceo Roma, no doctor has been expelled because he was against vaccinations" Magi stressed. "Some doctors have regretted what they have said to patients or written, others have given explanations and recanted," he noted, adding that 69.9% of doctors in the Roman province of Lazio had signaled their satisfaction with the vaccine.
But Amici and other doctors categorically rejected the "vaccine denier" label as an attempt to discredit their scientific arguments against the COVID-19 serum.
"I'm not a vaccine denier. I have been administering vaccines for 40 years," Amici asserted. "I am [only] against the COVID vaccine and the disgusting [propaganda] on it. What I contest is the modality, and I try to explain why I am against this vaccination."
Colleagues and patients reportedly complained against Amici after he participated in a live Facebook broadcast mocking the police escorting the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to the Rome-based Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases (LSNIID).
"They are afraid these vaccines will be stolen," a smiling Amici told the moderator of the live broadcast. "I think they are taking us for insane, this is folklore, what's the point of all this? To prove what?"
"A serious government should have guaranteed some facts with respect to the vaccine with adequate testing. The time was not enough to test its effectiveness and immunity," he said. "Not all vaccines are the same and not all patients can react in the same way."
On Wednesday, Amici explained on his blog:
The first vaccines they offer us are gene therapy products. We will inject nucleic acids that will cause the production of parts of the virus by our own cells, but since it is the first time that this is carried out on humans, we do not know the consequences of this injection.
Italy declared "V-Day" Sunday, administering the first vaccinations to five staff at the LSNIID.
However, a study conducted at Italy's Catholic University found over 48% of the respondents hesitant or unwilling to take the vaccine. One in 10 Italians are "completely against" the vaccine, 9% think it is unlikely they would take it and 28% are doubtful, the study reported.
In Pavia near Milan, eight out of 10 in the city's 85 care homes say they are unwilling to be vaccinated against the Wuhan virus, while in Turin and Brescia one in five health care workers are refusing to take the vaccine.
The Vatican document issued jointly by the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Vatican COVID-19 Commission warned that "such refusal could seriously increase the risks to public health."
On moral responsibility to undergo vaccination, it is necessary to reiterate how this issue also implies a relationship between personal health and public health, showing their close interdependence. In light of this link, we believe it is important to consider making a responsible decision in this regard, given that the refusal of the vaccine can also constitute a risk for others.
Yet the diktat has not silenced doctors' warnings.
In Sicily, Dr. Salvatore Corrao, who heads a department in which "there are 61 COVID patients and operators massacred by overwork" and understands the need to "find a solution as soon as possible," said the vaccine was "a product without clear scientific evidence."
The Palermo-based doctor insisted he was "neither no-vax nor pro-vax, but for the medicine of evidence" and called for "a mass trial with informed consent," instead of the current "veterinary ethics" for which "the herd must be preserved" rather than "the individual."
Meanwhile, the health authority in Piedmont, Northwest Italy, has sanctioned Dr. Giuseppe Delicati, a physician in the municipality of Borgaro Torinese, Turin, for urging people in an October YouTube video "to beware of the flu vaccine, as it activates COVID."
Delicati, a former assistant medical officer in Kosovo, has been slapped with a 20% pay cut for five months as punishment.
"The dead in Bergamo [the epicenter of the pandemic] were all vaccinated against the flu," Dr. Delicati said, citing "Pentagon website" as a source. He added: "The virus undergoes an activation by action of the flu vaccine."
"The fact that the flu campaign was brought forward to Oct. 27 made me suspicious," he noted. "Moreover, the flu vaccine was recommended together with the COVID vaccine, which is not an attenuated virus vaccine like that for the flu but composed of fragments of RNA that combine with our DNA, causing terrible autoimmune diseases."
"It is not a pandemic. There are no numbers to call it that; with less than 400,000 deaths, they [who succumbed] are far fewer than the Asian or the Spanish pandemic," Delicati remarked.
Authorities were incensed by Delicati's use of the term "fetal DNA traits," a likely reference to aborted fetal tissue used in the production or testing of a number of COVID-19 vaccines.