Fresno's Catholic bishop now backs use of COVID-19 vaccines

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As access to COVID-19 vaccinations comes closer to reality, the Diocese of Fresno is clarifying where it stands on Central California's Catholics getting the shot.

In a video released last month, Bishop Joseph Brennan expressed his doubts towards the vaccine closest to FDA approval - the Pfizer vaccine.

RELATED: Fresno's Catholic bishop expresses concerns over COVID-19 vaccines, experts say he's mistaken

The disapproval was met with backlash from experts who insisted that information was false.

A representative from Pfizer responded, saying, "It is a synthetically designed vaccine that contains no human or animal products."

Now it appears the Bishop has acknowledged that.

In a statement released Wednesday, he said, "Without better alternatives and following serious reflection upon the health risks and needs for oneself, one's family, and the broader community, Catholics may ethically decide for serious reasons to utilize such vaccines."

John Gerardi's Organization Right to Life Central California, along with the Diocese of Fresno, put out a Pastoral Guide to COVID-19 vaccines.

Gerardi said it spells out why Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines don't have the Catholic church's full stamp of approval because of stem cells used in medical research but are still the best choice for Catholics when considering a COVID-19 vaccine.

"Those are the best options available because they have the least amount of involvement with cell lines that utilize cells derived from aborted fetuses," he said.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.