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OSF HealthCare won’t ‘turn away’ Johnson & Johnson vaccine

PEORIA (WEEK) -- OSF HealthCare says it will not turn away the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine if it is the only option available for its patients.

This comes after Catholic leaders in New Orleans and St. Louis advised Catholics the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is "morally compromised" due to it being produced using cell lines developed from aborted fetuses, the Associated Press reported earlier this week.

The Diocese of Peoria has not responded to a request for a statement on the issue.

However, a spokesperson with OSF HealthCare said, "For years, the Catholic Church has been concerned about fetal cell lines used for the development and culturing of vaccines. The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna first raised concerns because fetal cell lines were used for testing purposes, but not in their production. However, an abortion-derived cell line was used in the development, testing and production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. No fetal cells or tissue, however, are used in the vaccine itself.

At this point in the pandemic emergency, we will not turn away the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if it is the only option available for our patients. We will communicate to patients which vaccine they are receiving and they can make their own choice as to whether to accept it."

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Drew Veskauf

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