Polish bishops raise 'moral objection' to AstraZeneca, J&J vaccines

Agence France-Presse. Warsaw, Poland | Published: 19:40, Apr 14,2021 | Updated: 19:41, Apr 14,2021


Poland's Catholic Church on Wednesday voiced ‘strong moral objection’ to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines, which were developed using cell lines from aborted foetuses.

But the bioethics committee of the Polish Bishops' Conference said there would be no ‘moral fault’ for Catholics who take these vaccines since they have not been given a choice.

In its report, the committee said it approved of vaccines such as BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna that use messenger RNA (mRNA).

‘We know the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines unfortunately rely on science based on cell lines from aborted foetuses... This raises a strong moral objection,’ it said.

Where possible, it said that Catholics ‘should not accept vaccination with these vaccines since there are others... that do not raise moral objections.’

The bishops said that people who have no choice should still ‘voice their strong opposition to the use of biological material of immoral origin in the production of the vaccine’.

There are no cells from aborted foetuses in any Covid-19 jabs but some of the vaccines were developed using cell lines from foetuses aborted in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Poland, a deeply Catholic country, makes use of all the vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency and people are not given a choice which vaccine they receive.

In December, the Vatican called on everyone to get vaccinated, saying that it was "morally acceptable" for Catholics to use even vaccines developed using cell lines from aborted foetuses.

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