Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrives in Colorado with some opposition from Catholic bishops

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — The long-awaited Johnson & Johnson vaccine is now in Colorado. It’s on its way to providers around the state and in some cases has already arrived. 

The one-dose shot, which does not require super cold temperatures, is being welcomed by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, but Catholic Bishops are asking their church members to avoid it if possible for religious reasons.  

CDPHE says it requested the maximum allocation of 45,500 for this week.  

Some providers tell the Problem Solvers they began administering Johnson & Johnson doses yesterday. 

Colorado bishops tell the Problem Solvers they have moral concerns over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, claiming cell lines derived from the tissue of aborted fetuses were used in its production.  

“Right now Moderna and Pfizer are the more morally acceptable options over Johnson & Johnson and Astrazenca because they have been less touched by abortion directly by using fetal cell lines in some area of creation of the vaccine,” Catholic Colorado Conference Spokesperson Brittany Vessely said.

Colorado bishops are echoing the US Conference of Catholic Bishops position on the vaccine.  

The bishops say taking the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would only be acceptable if the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine were not available.  

CDPHE’S Chief Medical officer Dr. Eric France said he had not heard about the Catholic Church’s opposition to the vaccine adding they are usually supportive.  

“Muslims, Jews , and Catholic leadership will often times will encourage vaccination knowing that the public health outcome far exceeds any potential issues from the faith,” said Dr. France during a news conference Thursday.  

Johnson & Johnson told FOX31, “In developing our vaccine, we have held ourselves to the highest bioethical standards and guidelines…there is no fetal tissue in the vaccine.”

National Jewish told FOX31 it will administer 2,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this weekend, however all appointments are already booked.  

CDPHE said vaccinations have already had a huge impact on saving lives at long term care facilities, and it can do the same for the rest of Colorado. 

We are proud to bring our COVID-19 vaccine to the world and to contribute to ending this pandemic. In developing our vaccine, we have held ourselves to the highest bioethical standards and guidelines. Our single-shot COVID-19 vaccine uses an inactivated non-infective adenovirus vector – similar to a cold virus – that codes for the coronavirus “spike” (S) protein, and there is no fetal tissue in the vaccine. We are able to manufacture hundreds of millions of doses using our engineered cell-line system and look forward to delivering those doses around the world and help meet the critical need.” – Srey Dasgupta, Communications Coordinator Johnson & Johnson

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