Catholic bishops recommend choosing vaccine other than Johnson & Johnson

St Aloysius Church Spokane
Copyright KXLY 2021

Catholics nationwide are being told by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that it’s morally acceptable to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but practicing Catholics should choose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines if given a choice.

The conference issued a statement on the vaccines and the Diocese of Spokane has pointed to that letter when asked what recommendations its giving to parishioners.

The conference said “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.”

According to the conference, “Pfizer’s 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. Therefore, if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.”

4 News Now reached out to the Diocese of Spokane for comment on this Monday, but our calls were not returned. The person who answered the phone pointed to the statement from the U.S. Conference.

The Diocese of Spokane does have a page on its website offering guidance.

It makes three simple points: “We may morally receive the currently available COVID-19 vaccines. We are not morally obligated to take a COVID-19 vaccine. We should advocate for more ethical research and pharmaceutical development.”

“Bishop Daly recognizes that moral considerations are but one factor that we must weigh in our personal decision to accept or decline vaccination,” the statement reads. “Medical questions, matters of safety and potential susceptibility to side effects, and the balancing of risks versus benefits must play into any decision involving a medical intervention, including vaccination.”

The Vatican has also issued guidance for Catholics on vaccines. The statement says 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.”

Pope Francis has received the COVID-19 vaccine.