Statement of Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, regarding the use of the Johnson & Johnson
March 25, 2021 | posted by Archdioese of San Antonio
Statement of Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, regarding the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
The U.S. bishop’s chairmen for the Doctrine Committee and Pro-Life Committee have addressed the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which was recently approved for use in America.
They acknowledge that 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 produced with the help of abortion-derived cell lines.
The committee chairmen say that the Pfizer and Moderna 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.
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.
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 vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.
I want to emphasize the bishops’ concluding comments, in that while we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm again that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good.