The Archdiocese of New Orleans says that the recently-approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is “morally compromised,” and advises Catholics to use ethical alternatives if available.
The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with an emergency use authorization issued on Feb. 27.
The pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute had determined that the vaccine used abortion-derived cell lines in design and development, production, and lab testing. The New Orleans archdiocese on Feb. 26 stated that the vaccine was “morally compromised” because of its connection with abortion.
However, the two other available COVID-19 vaccines are “morally acceptable,” the archdiocese said, while also not prohibiting Catholics from receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if no other ethical alternative is available.
The decision to receive a vaccination for COVID-19 “remains one of individual conscience in consultation with one’s healthcare provider,” the archdiocese said.
“The Archdiocese of New Orleans, in light of guidance from the Vatican, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and The National Catholic Bioethics Center affirm that though there was some lab testing that utilized the abortion-derived cell line, the two vaccines currently available from Pfizer and Moderna do not rely on cell lines from abortions in the manufacturing process and therefore can be morally acceptable for Catholics as the connection to abortion is extremely remote,” the archdiocese’s statement read.
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