The COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson has been confirmed by a report to use fetal cell lines during manufacturing.
According to KHOU-11, Johnson & Johnson used aborted fetal cell lines when it manufactured its COVID-19 vaccine based on three sources on how it was produced. KHOU-11 cited the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Johnson & Johnson itself, and John Hopkins Senior Scholar Dr. Amesh Adalja as sources for confirming this matter.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a statement through its website and social media platforms that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine did use fetal cell lines in the production of its vaccines.
"The Johnson & Johnson vaccine...was tested and is produced with abortion-derived cell lines raising...moral concerns. Therefore, if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna's vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson," the statement said.
KHOU-11 added that the USCCB, in the statement, warned its members that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is "morally compromised."
In an interview with KHOU-11, Dr. Adalja confirmed that the Johnson & Johnson was manufactured using the cells derived "decades ago from an abortion."
"The vaccine itself does not include any kind of fetal cells. However, the vaccine is manufactured using fetal cells, as is the AstraZeneca vaccine. The origin of these cell lines is from aborted fetuses," Adalja affirmed.
Johnson & Johnson also confirmed to KHOU-11's VERIFY team that it uses an "inactive/non-infective adenovirus vector" in the production of its vaccine, which Dr. Adalja explained comes from fetal cell lines.
"There is no fetal tissue in our Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Our COVID-19 vaccine is an inactivated/non-infective adenovirus vector (similar to a cold virus), which codes for the coronavirus "spike" (s) protein. We are able to manufacture hundreds of millions of doses using our engineered cell-line system that enables the rapid production of new viral vaccines to combat many of the most dangerous infectious diseases," Johnson & Johnson told the news outlet.
Adalja elaborated that Johnson & Johnson "grow the virus" through the adenovirus vector then "harvest the virus" and "filter all of that material" such that what one gets in the vaccine is "the virus that's been engineered."
However, the senior scholar said that there is actually nothing new with what Johnson & Johnson does in the creation of its vaccine as a similar procedure had been done in the past in the creation of the vaccine for Chicken Pox, shingles, Hepatitis A, Rubella, and one of the rabies. All of the said past vaccines used fetal cells.
In addition, Adalja expressed confidence in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for COVID-19 and stressed that fetal cells are "an important part of life-saving enhancements."
Last March 2, the USCCB Committee on Doctrine Chairman Bishop Kevin Rhoades and Committee on Pro-Life Activities Chairman Archbishop Joseph Naumann issued a statement on the "moral permissibility" of the Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine that was "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 bishops said in the statement.
The bishops cited the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith guideline on the COVID-19 vaccines that gives its members an understanding of when or when not to choose the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over Pfizer's or Moderna's, specifically when members have no choice except the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to use like in times the member's government only provides the said vaccine.