Michigans Catholic bishops say 2 COVID-19 vaccines are OK morally but another is problematic – MLive.com

GRAND RAPIDS, MI Michigans seven Catholic bishops said COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna are morally permissible but raised concerns about AstraZencas vaccine using a cell line that originated from tissue of an aborted fetus.

Pfizer and Moderna have received emergency approval for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Association. Pfizers vaccine has already rolled out across the country while Moderna expects to begin shipping its vaccine on Sunday, Dec. 20.

AstraZencas vaccine along with a vaccine by Johnson & Johnson - is nearing its final trial stage.

The Catholic bishops issued a statement Saturday, Dec., 19, on what they called the morality of COVID-19 vaccines.

It is morally permissible to receive the vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna, the bishops said.

Neither of these vaccines have used cell lines originating in tissue taken from aborted babies in their design, development, and production. However, both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine did use such a cell line in the confirmatory testing. This connection to the abortion is very remote, however, and it is important to keep in mind that there are varying levels of responsibility. Greater moral responsibility lies with the researchers than with those who receive the vaccine, the bishops wrote.

The vaccine developed by AstraZeneca is more morally problematic, however, the bishops wrote.

It did utilize in the design, production, development, and confirmatory testing a cell line that originated from tissue taken from an aborted baby. This vaccine may be received only if there are no other alternatives. If one does not have a choice of vaccine and a delay in immunization may bring about serious consequences for ones health and the health of others, it would be permissible to accept the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Science Magazine said that at least five COVID-19 vaccine candidates use a fetal kidney cell line from a fetus aborted around 1972 or cells of an 18-week-old fetus that was aborted in 1985.

Dr. Deepak Srivastava, former president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, told the Associated Press that the fetal cell lines were vital in developing vaccines for a range of viruses.

They are widely used in many aspects in biomedical science because they are so effective, he said. Whats important for the public to know even if they are opposed to the use of fetal cells for therapies, these medicines that are being made and vaccines do not contain any aspect of the cells in them, Srivastava said. The cells are used as factories for production.

In a column for the Heritage Foundation, which promotes conservative public policy, Dr. Melissa Moschella said she strongly opposes abortion but supported using the cell lines derived long ago from the tissue of aborted fetuses - to develop life-saving vaccines.

Cell lines (from one of the fetuses) are far removed from the unborn child from whose tissue they were initially derived. Such cell lines are immortal, meaning that, once developed, they continue to divide and reproduce themselves indefinitely. This means that the use of such lines does not necessarily create additional demand for new fetal tissue, Moschella wrote.

The bishops said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found vaccinations permissible because of the pandemics serious health risks.

Those who do not receive vaccinations have a moral responsibility to take steps to prevent spread of the virus, they said.

At this same time, we join our voices to call for the development of vaccines that have no connection to abortion. Our consciences must not be dulled, nor may we imply in any way that abortion is acceptable, the bishops said.

The statement was issued by Allen H. Vigneron, archbishop of Detroit, and bishops Paul J. Bradley of Kalamazoo; Earl A. Boyea of Lansing; John F. Doerfler of Marquette; Robert D. Gruss of Saginaw; Walter A. Hurley, apostolic administrator, of Gaylord; and David J. Walkowiak of Grand Rapids.

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