Religious of the Virgin Mary congregation in Philippines says elderly sisters could not get vaccinated in time.
Nine elderly nuns in a Manila convent where 114 persons had been infected with COVID-19 have succumbed to the respiratory disease. Several others are in critical condition.
The convent of the Religious of the Virgin Mary, the largest Catholic religious congregation in the Philippines, has been on lockdown since the outbreak was reported September 14. Sixty-two nuns and dozens of lay workers were infected.
The deceased nuns — ranging in age from 80 to 90 — were all unvaccinated, according to the congregation.
“They did not receive their vaccines because their appointments were canceled,” Sr. Maria Anicia Co told Catholic-run Radio Veritas. “They were in grave danger because of their age.” Arrangements had been made to bring vaccinations to the bedridden nuns but that did not happen in time.
Meanwhile, it is suspected that the convent was infected by a visitor who was COVID-positive but asymptomatic, reported the Union of Catholic Asian News.
Several nuns were already bedridden and could not get to a vaccination station, Sr. Co said.
Sr. Co added that nuns who were infected but vaccinated were recovering.
UCANews said that the convent was one of four religious houses — including Christ the King Mission Seminary, the Convent of the Holy Spirit and the Stella Maris Convent — that have been quarantined in Manila in the last two weeks.