The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) launched a statement on March 2 encouraging Catholics to keep away from getting the newest adenovirus vector COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson if alternate options can be found.
In Thursday’s assertion, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, chairman of the convention’s Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the convention’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, beneficial Catholics get the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna over Johnson & Johnson, if attainable, as a result of the latter adenovirus vector vaccine was developed with the assistance of abortion-derived cell strains.
“The approval of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the United States again raises questions about the moral permissibility of using vaccines developed, tested, and/or produced with the help of abortion-derived cell lines,” the Bishops wrote of their assertion.
“Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines raised concerns because an abortion-derived cell line was used for testing them, but not in their production. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, was developed, tested and is produced with abortion-derived cell lines raising additional moral concerns.”
Johnson & Johnson’s stem cell line comes from an abortion carried out in 1985, according to Science.
This has prompted criticism from a variety of Catholic teams, together with The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, who final week urged folks to keep away from having Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, calling it “morally compromised.”
The steering was at odds with The Vatican, which in December declared that it’s “morally acceptable” for Roman Catholics to obtain any COVID-19 vaccines, together with these based mostly on analysis that initially used cells derived from aborted fetuses.
Bishop Rhoades and Archbishop Naumann stated that when “ethically irreproachable” COVID-19 vaccines are usually not accessible, it’s morally acceptable for Catholics to obtain vaccines which have used cell strains from aborted fetuses of their analysis and manufacturing course of.
However, they urged Catholics to try to select COVID-19 vaccines with the least connection to abortion-derived cell strains when attainable.
“Therefore, if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s,” the Bishops continued.
“While we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm again that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good,” they added.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the third to be licensed to be used within the United States, and in contrast to Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, it solely requires one shot.
Johnson & Johnson stated in a press release to The Hill on Tuesday, “We are able to manufacture hundreds of millions of doses using our engineered cell-line system and look forward to delivering those doses around the world and help meet the critical need.”
The assertion additionally famous that the vaccine “uses an inactivated non-infective adenovirus vector—similar to a cold virus—that codes for the coronavirus ‘spike’ (S) protein” and that “there is no fetal tissue in the vaccine” itself.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which isn’t accessible within the United States, can be a adenovirus vector vaccine that has been developed from kidney cell strains derived from a fetus aborted in 1973.
The Epoch Times has contacted Johnson & Johnson for remark.