Local Catholic leaders say to avoid Johnson & Johnson vaccine made with fetal cells if possible, but health experts disagree

The Catholic Dioceses of Spokane and Boise are both recommending local Catholics avoid the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine unless it’s the only shot available, because the vaccine’s manufacture involves cells derived from an aborted fetus in 1985.

Some vaccines — including those for Hepatitis A, rubella and rabies — use historical cell lines in their design or manufacturing process, as viruses that infect humans grow best in human rather than animal cells, according to a report from the North Dakota Department of Health.

Cell lines are grown from a sample of a single fetus’s cells, the report said. In the case of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine,

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