The United States is working aggressively to tackle the pandemic situation in the country. The emergency authorization of COVID-19 vaccines is one of those steps taken to fight the coronavirus. But many bishops in the US are asking the church members not to go for the single-shot vaccine by Johnsons and Johnsons approved last week. When there are other alternatives already present, Catholics are asked not to go for the J&J COVID-19 vaccine.
Bishops In The United States Advising Catholics Against Taking Johnsons & Johnsons Vaccine
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops across the United States, including six other dioceses, have raised moral concerns over the vaccine. They said the use of lab-grown cells originating from aborted fetuses in the Johnsons & Johnsons vaccine is against religious ethics and are asking the believers to refrain from the vaccine. They added when already two other options are available to them; they should drop the idea of getting the J&J vaccine shots.
There are currently three vaccines that are rolled out in the United States after the emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Unlike the other two vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, the Johnsons & Johnsons vaccine has the advantage of storage and transportation. It can be kept at normal refrigeration without any advanced equipment to maintain the temperature around -70 ⁰C. Also, the vaccine provides complete immunity in a single dose. A second booster dose is not required.
Health experts differed from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and said that Americans should go for the vaccine whatever is offered to them.
According to Dr. Paul Goepfert, if one is offered a Johnsons & Johnsons shot, then he/she should don’t deny saying that this vaccine is against moral values. He said that the country is not in a scenario where they can pick vaccines.
As per reports, the Roman Catholic Church and the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith have approved the Johnsons & Johnsons vaccine and said that it is acceptable to receive a vaccine using cells cultured from the aborted cells fetuses. That was before the approval of the vaccine.
However, Johnsons & Johnsons said in a statement that the company is proud to bring a vaccine against the COVID-19 infection that will contribute to ending the ongoing pandemic. They added that the vaccine uses an inactive adenovirus vector that is similar to normal cold and flu viruses. But it has codes for the coronavirus (S) spike protein. They added that no fetal tissues are present in the vaccine.
They said that they have an engineered cell-line system using which hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses can be manufactured. They have the capability to deliver the doses globally to help meet the need of vaccines against the COVID-19 infection.
According to James Lawler, who works as Nebraska Medicine and is an expert of infectious diseases, while Pfizer and Moderna has used such cell-lines to test their vaccines, Johnsons & Johnsons have used the fetal cell lines in the development, confirmation and production stages as well. The use of fetal cell lines is a safe practice that is also well studied to produce viral vector vaccines.
The Bishops added that during times of widespread pandemics, it would be an act of charity to receive the vaccine against the coronavirus. Provided no other option is available, the Johnsons & Johnsons vaccine can be taken for self-care. But it is still morally unacceptable and that wherever possible, one should try to opt for the other two options over the Johnsons and Johnsons vaccine.
On the other hand, health experts are urging people of all faith to go for whatever vaccine is provided to them without any delay to end the pandemic.