The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans warns Christians on the newest COVID-19 vaccine developed by Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, saying it is "morally compromised" as it uses cells obtained in abortions.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved the newest COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. Janssen/Johnson & Johnson's single-shot COVID vaccine is the third vaccine to be authorized by the FDA, along with Pfizer and Moderna, which both require more than 1 dosage of the vaccine, The Blaze reported.
The federal government's goal is to supply around 4 million doses of the single-shot vaccine by J&J across the nation by next week and expects to deliver 20 million doses by the end of March.
But, the archdiocese of New Orleans does not seem to approve of the latest vaccine. In a statement released on their website, they expressed their sentiments over J&J's vaccine.
"It is under the same guidance that the archdiocese must instruct Catholics that the latest vaccine from Janssen/Johnson & Johnson is morally compromised as it uses the abortion-derived cell line in the development and production of the vaccine as well as the testing." the statement reads.
The archdiocese also explained that although the first two readily available vaccines conducted some laboratory tests that utilized the "abortion-derived cell line," Pfizer and Moderna do not rely on these cells in the production of their vaccines, thus, making it "morally acceptable for Catholics."
The archdiocese went on to explain that it is still up to the person receiving the vaccine to decide which provider to choose, but they will not be supporting such wrongdoings of those who choose to use abortion cell lines for the manufacturing of vaccines.
"We also maintain that in no way does the Church's position diminish the wrongdoing of those who decided to use cell lines from abortions to make vaccines," they said.
"We advise that if the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine is available, Catholics should choose to receive either of those vaccines rather than to receive the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of its extensive use of abortion-derived cell lines," the statement added.
Although the Archdiocese of New Orleans does not support such production methods, Pope Francis has quite the opposite stand as he has been actively supporting the vaccine despite its production process.
"It is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process," a statement from the Vatican said.
In the submitted data by J&J to the FDA, it states that their single-shot vaccine has an overall 66% effectiveness rate against COVID-19 -- significantly lower compared to Pfizer and Moderna, which was found to be 95% and 94% effective, respectively.
The single-shot vaccine was, however, less potent against other coronavirus strains, according to the company itself.
It is found that the J&J vaccine provides only 57% protection against a new and stronger strain of coronavirus currently rapidly spreading in South Africa.
The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved even with a low effectiveness rate because the FDA has said in the past that it would authorize COVID-19 vaccines with at least a 50% effectiveness rate.