Catholics advised to avoid Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

The Archdiocese of Denver is advising Catholics not to take the newly approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, citing the use of abortion-derived cells to make the doses.

The stance is in line with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which said earlier this week that if a person has the option to choose a vaccine, they should pick the shots developed by Pfizer or Moderna, which do not use such cells.

Catholic bishops have questioned the morality of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because it uses cells that are descended from tissue from an elective abortion performed 36 years ago, The Washington Post reported. 

When “ethically irreproachable” vaccines are not available, it is “morally acceptable” to receive a shot that used cell lines from aborted fetuses in research and production, according to a statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Colorado expected to receive about 45,500 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine on Thursday.

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