Statement regarding Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine
“The increased availability of Covid-19 vaccines is already having a welcome effect in reducing the spread of this virus. I encourage everyone to be vaccinated in consultation with their physician.
“The first available vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) have been determined to be morally acceptable. The newer Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, is more morally compromised in that stem cells from a line deriving from an aborted fetus were used in its manufacture, not only in testing.
“As noted by the chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine and Committee on Pro-Life Activities, ‘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.’
“Please also continue to practice recommended safety precautions: wear a mask, wash hands, and observe social distancing. All these things together, we pray, will bring us through the pandemic soon.”
1 U.S. Bishop Chairmen for Doctrine and for Pro-Life Address the Use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid- 19 Vaccine March 2, 2021 https://www.usccb.org/news/2021/us-bishop-chairmen-doctrine-and-pro-life- address-use-johnson-johnson-covid-19-vaccine
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Contact: Jan Potts
Interim Director of Communications
Archdiocese of San Francisco