BOSTON (WHDH) - The first Johnson & Johnson vaccine was administered in Boston on Thursday but some Catholic leaders are pushing people to turn to other options.
7NEWS cameras captured the moment Asian American Civic Association CEO Mary Chin received her dose at Tufts Medical Center.
“Its safe! All of the vaccines not just Johnson. It’s safe and it’s available to you,” she said.
Though, not everyone is glad to see its arrival.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops alleges the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was developed from aborted fetuses. In a statement, they told their followers: “… if one can choose among equally safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccine with the least connection to abortion-derived cell lines should be chosen. Therefore, if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.”
Johnson & Johnson has said there is no fetal tissue in their vaccine and that they are proud of the product they developed. Now, many local healthcare workers say they want to make sure those claims do not keep people from getting vaccinated.
“The Pope has stated repeatedly that it’s a moral imperative to be vaccinated,” said Tufts Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. Helen Boucher. “So we really want to make it clear there is no reason for Catholics not to receive this vaccine.”
Health officials said that despite the limited supply — people are “vaccine shopping.”
“Yes, it’s happening. It was happening before the J & J,” Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Gabriela Andujar Vazquez said. “It will be safe to get this vaccine, whichever is offered to you, so there’s no reason to pick one over the other.”
The Archdiocese of Boston told 7NEWS it is following Vatican guidance and telling Catholics to get whatever vaccine is available to them.
This is a message religious leaders say is especially important in Black and Brown communities that have been hit hardest by COVID-19 and are least likely to get a shot at all.
“Picking and choosing what company they’re gonna receive the vaccination … which vaccination is best … is not our concern in the urban area. Our concern is about hospitalizations, our concern is about sickness, our concern is about death,” Morning Star Baptist Church BishopJohn M. Borders III said.
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