Watch CBS News

Philadelphia Archdiocese Agrees With Church Leaders Discouraging Catholics From Getting Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Philadelphia Archdiocese agrees with some church leaders who are now discouraging Catholics from getting the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Leaders in the Catholic church point out the J&J vaccine is developed in a way that, they say, raises moral concerns.

"Well, I think they should. They should follow what the church says," Glassboro resident Max Slowinski said.

"I think everyone should just get the vaccine so we could get this thing over with and we can move on," a man named Mark said.

Catholics have mixed reactions over a new warning from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

It says in part, "The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was developed, tested and is produced with abortion-derived cell lines raising moral concerns. If one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna's vaccines should be chosen."

"I don't necessarily agree with dissuading anybody from taking the vaccine. I think it's scientifically-backed," Fairmount resident Ali Swider said.

"I would have taken any vaccine," Spring Garden resident Susan Hagen said.

Others are also sounding off. Officials in the Philadelphia Ethical Society call the Catholic bishops' message disturbing.

"I'm more worried that the people who only have access to Johnson & Johnson who do take the Catholic church as their moral compass will not get the vaccine then," said Hugh Taft-Morales.

And doctors point out cell lines are often used in vaccines.

"Not just this COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson... but they are an important part of our medical technology," Infectious disease specialist Dr. Amesh Adalja said.

Meantime, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson insists no fetal tissue is used in its COVID-19 vaccine.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.