The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith stated Monday that it is “morally acceptable” to receive COVID-19 vaccines produced using cell lines from aborted fetuses when no alternative is available.
In a note issued Dec. 21, the CDF said that in countries where vaccines without ethical problems are unavailable to physicians and patients — or where their distribution is more difficult due to special storage or transport conditions — it is “morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”
This does not in any way imply a legitimation of the grave evil of the practice of abortion or that there is a moral endorsement of the use of cell lines proceeding from aborted fetuses, the Vatican congregation said.
As COVID-19 vaccines begin to be distributed in some countries, questions have arisen regarding the connection of these vaccines to aborted fetal cell lines.
The mRNA vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer are not produced with aborted fetal cell lines, although aborted fetal cells were used in tests during the early states of vaccine design.
Three other leading vaccine candidates developed by AstraZeneca with Oxford University, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax, are all produced using aborted fetal cell lines.
The CDF said that it had received multiple requests for guidance regarding the Covid-19 vaccines, “which in the course of research and production, employed cell lines drawn from tissue obtained from two abortions that occurred in the last century.”