Above: A man checks in with SCL Health staff at the National Western Complex in Denver where the health care workers administered COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable seniors and members of underserved communities Feb. 6, 2021. SCL is a Catholic health care system based in Broomfield, Colo. (CNS photo/courtesy Gregg Moss, SCL Health)
Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama urges Catholics in Eastern NC to get a COVID-19 vaccine to protect their own health and reduce community spread of the virus.
Bishop Luis’ request is in keeping with an earlier statement from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and other Church statements on the topic, which continue to be shared with other COVID-19 resources here.
The Vatican’s position is that “all vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion from which the cells used in production of the vaccines derive.”
Bishop Luis believes that getting any available COVID-19 vaccine should be viewed as an act of charity as together we seek to help end the pandemic, protect our vulnerable neighbors and keep our communities healthy. He asks the faithful of Eastern North Carolina to continue to take measures to protect their health and the health of their neighbors, including getting a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible.
To help you access a vaccine for your protection and to help stop community spread of COVID-19, search tools are available to find which types of vaccines are available near you. You may search by zip code and edit your search based on which FDA-approved vaccine you do -- or do not -- want to receive.
U.S. Bishop chairmen for Doctrine and for Pro-Life address the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine
WASHINGTON– On March 2, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recently approved for use in the United States.
“The approval of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the United States again raises questions about the moral permissibility of using vaccines 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 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has judged that ‘when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available … it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.’ However, if one can choose among equally safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccine with the least connection to abortion-derived cell lines should be chosen. Therefore, if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.
“While we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm again that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good.”
For further details, we refer people to our earlier December 2020 statement (English | Spanish), to our Answers to Key Ethical Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines (English | Spanish), to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith’s Note, and to the statement of the Vatican Covid-19 Commission in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Life.
 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines” (17 Dec 2020), no. 2.