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Southern Colorado Catholic dioceses advise parishioners to avoid Johnson & Johnson vaccine

011921 DIOCESE OF PUEBLO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — In a statement released Tuesday, the Colorado Springs and Pueblo Dioceses recommend Catholics avoid taking Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine if other options are available.

Spokespeople for local Catholic leadership told KRDO Newschannel 13 they support the message from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“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.

Pfizer 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. 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’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.  

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.”

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

The Truth & Liberty Coalition is a Woodland Park-based nonprofit founded by Andrew Wommack. The coalition cites similar concerns from a pro-life institute regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

"According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, Johnson and Johnson created it’s vaccine using the PER.C6 line of cells that are derived from tissue harvested from the liver of a human baby that was killed in an abortion in 1985.  To make matters worse, according to the Institute, Johnson and Johnson was given over 1.4 billion dollars in taxpayer money to do so. This is just plain wrong. Vaccines should not use cells that are derived from aborted babies, regardless of when the abortion occurred.”

Richard Harris, Truth & Liberty Coalition

Gov. Jared Polis said Coloradans can't exactly choose one vaccine over another, but they can strategically make appointments at only certain clinics.

"When they’re signing up for an appointment, they will know what [vaccine] they would get at that," said Polis. "And if it’s not the one they want, they can sign up at a different site at a different time to get the one they want. It might be a week or two later. It just depends on how far they want to drive."

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Lauren Barnas

Lauren is an anchor and MMJ for KRDO and 13 Investigates. Learn more about Lauren here.

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