Archdiocese of New Orleans Asks Catholics Not to Receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

Archdiocese of New Orleans Asks Catholics Not to Receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans is asking Catholics to choose the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines over the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine because of its reported use of aborted fetal cells in production and testing.

"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," a statement from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was recommended for Emergency Use last Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. Over the weekend, the FDA approved the vaccine to begin immunizations.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one-dose immunization.

This week, the company announced it was planning on shipping enough doses for 20 million Americans to be vaccinated by the end of the month. By mid-2021, the company said it is aiming to have delivered 100 million doses.

In a chart of vaccine candidates, the Charlotte Lozier Institute shows which vaccine candidates used abortion-derived cell lines in the design, development, production or testing of the vaccine. The Charlotte Lozier Institute is the research branch of the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.

In December, bishops from Colorado’s three Roman Catholic dioceses issued a statement asking Catholics to not receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The vaccine has not been approved by the FDA yet.

"Vaccines such as AstraZeneca-Oxford use aborted fetal lines in design, development, production, and testing, and therefore are not a morally valid option because better options are available," the bishops wrote in a letter.

Photo courtesy: Pexels/Cottonbro

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.