Archdiocese of New Orleans urges Catholics to avoid Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine
Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans urges Catholics to avoid recently approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which it says is “morally compromised” by its “heavy use of abortion-derived cell lines” . In a statement released Friday, the Archdiocese noted that while deciding whether to receive the vaccine is an individual choice, that “Janssen / Johnson & Johnson’s latest vaccine is morally compromised because it uses the abortion-derived cell line in vaccine development and production as well as testing. While a number of COVID-19 vaccine makers used cells originally derived from an aborted fetus in the 1970s, the Archdiocese argues that Johnson & Johnson’s ‘extensive use’ is worse than that of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which used cell lines. only to test their vaccines, according to Religion News Service. This makes the “connection to abortion … extremely remote,” in Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the statement said, recommending that Catholics choose one of these instead, if given the choice. While the Archdiocese says the move is in line with guidelines from the Vatican, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Catholic Bioethics Center, none of the three have issued a statement denouncing the new vaccine. In December, the Vatican released general vaccine guidelines in which the Holy See said it was “morally acceptable” for Catholics to receive injections using HEK293 cells for research. While the HEK293 cells are believed to have originated from an aborted fetus in the 1970s, ethicists have stated that the cells and similar cell lines are clones and not the original fetal tissue. The Vatican has made the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine available to all residents of Vatican City. Pope Francis was reportedly shot in January. The Archdiocese of New Orleans statement comes after leaders of the USCCB and other faith-based organizations sent a letter to the commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration last spring regarding ethical concerns about COVID-19 vaccines. “We are aware that, of the dozens of vaccines currently in development, some are produced from old cell lines created from cells from aborted babies,” the letter read. “For example, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has a major contract with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and is working on a vaccine that is produced using one of these problematic cell lines. ethical. ” However, a USCCB memo written by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who chairs the USCCB Doctrine Committee, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, who chairs the organization’s Pro-Life Activities Committee argued that vaccines are moral.