WASHINGTON (WANE) On Tuesday the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities issued a statement addressing the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVI-19 vaccine. Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese chairs that committee.
The need for clarification about the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has to do with the use of abortion-derived cell lines development, testing and production. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines used abortion-derived cell lines for testing but not production according to the statement.
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.Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann
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. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has judged that ‘when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available … it is morally acceptable to receive Covid- 19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.’1 However, if one can choose among equally safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccine with the least connection to abortion-derived cell lines should be chosen. Therefore, if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.
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.”