NEW ORLEANS, La. (WKBN) – The Archdiocese of New Orleans says the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson is “morally compromised.”

According to Religion News Service (RNS), the archdiocese has asked Catholics to avoid it if given the choice.

We advise that if the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine is available, Catholics should choose to receive either of those vaccines rather than to receive the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of its extensive use of abortion-derived cell line.

Archdiocese of New Orleans

The Diocese is concerned with the use of cells with “distant ties to abortion in development and production.”

The Archdiocese of New Orleans, in light of guidance from the Vatican, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and The National Catholic Bioethics Center affirm that though there was some lab testing that utilized the abortion-derived cell line, the two vaccines currently available from Pfizer and Moderna do not rely on cell lines from abortions in the manufacturing process and therefore can be morally acceptable for Catholics as the connection to abortion is extremely remote.

Archdiocese of New Orleans

The archdiocese issued the statement on Friday, adding that the “decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccine remains one of individual conscience in consultation with one’s healthcare provider.”