Church leaders are telling Catholics to steer clear from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the coronavirus.
The vaccine was produced using cell lines from aborted baby parts.
The new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine may offer the best prospect for protecting as many Americans as possible, as quickly as possible, but some U.S. faith leaders say they have moral concerns about its development.
Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was produced in part through the use of cell lines derived from an aborted human fetus. In a statement released this week, leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that this feature of the vaccine raises questions about its permissibility.
“If one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s,” say Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind. Naumann chairs the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Rhoades chairs the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine.
The bishops stop well short of telling U.S. Catholics to avoid the Johnson & Johnson vaccine altogether, a position also taken by other faith leaders known for their strong opposition to abortion.