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Local religious and health officials comment on morality of J&J COVID-19 vaccine



TOPEKA, Kan. – As the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine returns for use in the United States, so do concerns about the morality of the one-shot vaccine.

According to the Shawnee Co. Health Department, the production process for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine includes the use of a cell line that traces back to a fetus aborted in the Netherlands in 1985.

However, the current vaccine itself includes no fetal cells.

County Health Officer Dr. Erin Locke added in a statement that “once the J&J vaccine is produced, it is purified to remove all traces of the cell in which it was made”.

Around the time of Johnson and Johnson’s initial emergency use authorization, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who is the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities issued statements on the J&J vaccine.

The full statement can be found here.

Debra Niesen, who is the Lead Consultant for Pro-Life Ministries for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, told 13 NEWS Monday “for grave reasons such as the presence of COVID-19 receiving a covid-19 vaccine is morally permissible”.

“The Archdiocese and bishops believe Pfizer and Moderna are preferred…but they realize not everyone may have an opportunity to choose the vaccine they receive.”

Niesen went on to say the Archdiocese does not condemn anyone who may have already received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Locke said in a statement:

“We strongly recommend COVID-19 vaccination. We strongly recommend COVID-19 vaccination. The mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) are not produced in fetal cells and are widely available in Kansas,” she said.

“The Health Department encourages all individuals to conduct their own research, avoid rumors and make decisions based on what they feel is concurrent with their belief system.”

Meantime, a CNN poll released last week shows over a third of young people are hesitant about COVID-19 vaccines.

In a poll of 1,000 people 31 percent of adults under age 35 said they would not try to get vaccinated.

Results showed trends in education and political affiliation.

31 percent of people without a college degree were opposed compared to 18 percent with a degree.

Politically, eight percent of Democrats, 28 percent of Independents and 44 percent of Republicans said they would not take a shot.

As of Monday, over 947,000 Kansans have been fully vaccinated, which is over 32.5 percent of the population, ranking the state at 26th for vaccinations in the country.