With three coronavirus vaccines available, each with their own set of potential side effects and methods of development that can raise morality concerns, how does a person choose which one to take?

The governor and health officials say people shouldn't choose at all, but rather take whichever one is offered.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved three coronavirus vaccines for emergency use in an attempt to control the year-long pandemic. Those from Pfizer and Moderna, which require two shots, have been available since December, while one-dose Johnson & Johnson's was approved last weekend.

Distribution sites might receive just doses from one manufacturer, though larger ones, like hospitals, could receive all three. Gov. John Bel Edwards said Tuesday that no one should be choosy.

People won’t be able to go to a vaccine site and “be given a menu” to choose among vaccines, the governor said.

“You do have to weigh this with the common good of ending a pandemic,” Edwards said. “The fastest way to do this is deploy all the vaccines and have the uptake of the vaccines be as great as possible.”

State health officials have long given similar advice.

The archbishop of New Orleans and the bishops of Baton Rouge and Lafayette, all in heavily Catholic South Louisiana,  have said recently that while there are moral differences between the J&J vaccine and the others, the greater good dictates taking whichever one is offered if there are no other options available.

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New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond called the Johnson & Johnson vaccine "morally compromised" because of its connection to abortion-derived cell lines. Baton Rouge Bishop Michael Duca approached the question from the other side, calling the Pfizer and Moderna doses "morally acceptable," as they weren't developed along such cell lines.

The Catholic Church views abortion as a grave sin, part of its broader teaching on protecting the sanctity of life.

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, the nonprofit Catholic health system that includes the largest hospital network in the Baton Rouge area, Our Lady of the Lake, plans to use the J&J vaccine in addition to the others, a spokeswoman said.

"Because of the common good associated with vaccine use and the serious health danger of COVID-19, the Catholic Church has permitted the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine while advocating for an end to this method of vaccine development and manufacturing," said Grace Weber, the health system spokeswoman.

A pharmacy chain distributing vaccines, Walgreens, said people using their vaccines would have to accept what is available, and won't be available to mix doses if a second one is required.

"Given limited supply, customers will not be able to choose which vaccine they receive," said Emily Delnicki, a company spokeswoman. "The same vaccine must be administered for both doses."


Email David J. Mitchell at dmitchell@theadvocate.com

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.