There is some controversy among devout practicing Catholics that vaccines utilizing fetal cells should not be used as it would promote and condone abortion. In reality the WI-38 and MRC-5 cell strains used to develope the MMR, Smallpox and other vaccines were obtained from electively aborted foetuses in Sweden in 1962 and the UK in 1966.
"Two embryonic cell lines have been used to develop COVID-19 vaccines: human embryonic kidney cells called HEK 293 and human embryonic retinal cells called PER.C6. The PER.C6 cell line is from an elective abortion in the Netherlands in 1985, and the HEK 293 cell line comes from an undisclosed source (either spontaneous miscarriage or elective abortion) in the Netherlands in about 1972."
Some Catholics refuse vaccines due to this while others remain deeply conflicted as to how getting the vaccine can be a violation of church law with regard to the sanctity of human life and elective abortion.
Pope Francis has released a statement with regard to how a practicing Catholic should respond to vaccines of this type and especially the Vaccine against Covid- 19. He states, “when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available”, it is “morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”
While I am no longer a practicing Catholic I was raised to believe that the Pope speaks as the infallible voice of God on earth. So if one relies on the Pope for instriction and interpretation of God's will then there should be no moral objection to vaccines derived from these human fetal cells.
The Pope goes on to say, "The morality of vaccination, depends both on the duty to protect one’s own health and the pursuit of the common good. “In the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the epidemic, the common good may recommend vaccination, especially to protect the weakest and most exposed.”
There really is no barrier that Catholics in good conscience from being vaccinated against Covid-19 or many of the earlier vaccine also derived from Human fetal cell lines.
I hope that clears this up.
Alessondra T Speidel Postdoctoral Researcher. (2021, May 25). Cells from human foetuses are important for developing vaccines – but they're not an ingredient. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/cells-from-human-foetuses-are-important-for-developing-vaccines-but-theyre-not-an-ingredient-157484.
Vatican CDF says use of anti-Covid vaccines "morally acceptable". Vatican News. (2020, December 21). https://www.vaticannews.VA/en/vatican-city/news/2020-12/vatican-cdf-note-covid-vaccine-morality-abortion.html.