Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Monday, December 07, 2020

Abortion and the COVID-19 vaccine

Because some confusion has arisen over “the moral permissibility” of using the COVID-19 vaccines announced by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, and the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities have released a memo stating that it is not “immoral to be vaccinated with them.” 

The statement was necessary after some people argued that the Moderna vaccine “is not morally produced. Unborn children died in abortions and their bodies were used as ‘laboratory specimens.’”


As it turns out, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were not themselves produced using cell lines derived from aborted fetal tissue. As the bishops noted:


“Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine involved the use of cell lines that originated in fetal tissue taken from the body of an aborted baby at any level of design, development or production. They are not completely free from any connection to abortion, however, as both Pfizer and Moderna made use of a tainted cell line for one of the confirmatory lab tests of their products.”


“There is thus a connection, but it is relatively remote,” they continued. “Some are asserting that if a vaccine is connected in any way with tainted cell lines, then it is immoral to be vaccinated with them. This is an inaccurate portrayal of Catholic moral teaching.”


More information on this complicated matter is in this story from Catholic News Service.

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