Bishops Urge FDA to Develop Ethical Vaccine for COVID-19

Four bishop chairmen of committees for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have urged Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, Commissioner of the FDA, to ensure that vaccines for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) are developed ethically and are free from any connection to the exploitation of abortion.

The letter expressed strong support for efforts to develop an effective, safe, and widely available vaccine as quickly as possible, but also strongly urged that the federal government “ensure that fundamental moral principles are followed in the development of such vaccines, most importantly, the principle that human life is sacred and should never be exploited.”

The letter noted that “among the dozens of vaccines currently in development, some are being produced using old cell lines that were created from the cells of aborted babies.” Furthermore, “there is no need to use ethically problematic cell lines to produce a COVID vaccine, or any vaccine, as other cell lines or processes that do not involve cells from abortions are available and are regularly being used,” the signers stated. “It is critically important that Americans have access to a vaccine that is produced ethically: no American should be forced to choose between being vaccinated against this potentially deadly virus and violating his or her conscience.”
Read the full text of the letter, click here

The truth about COVID-19 vaccines, cells from aborted children, and ‘fetal tissue’ research from LIVEACTION

Politicians and groups are pressuring the Trump administration to lift its restrictions on (NIH) research using the bodies of aborted children, often referred to simply as “fetal tissue.”

Dr. David Prentice, Vice President and Research Director for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, told Live Action News that at this time, “No vaccines [for the coronavirus] have yet been developed, though there are a lot (over 40) proposed or under development; but only a few are even at initial testing stage yet. Among those proposed there are some that raise concern because they use an abortion-derived cell line as part of the process.”

While some of the vaccines in development are using fetal cell lines, most are not. “The vast majority of proposed vaccines [for COVID-19] do not have any ethical concerns,” Prentice said.

“There are indeed some potential vaccines against the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) that are produced using abortion-derived fetal cell lines, including PER.C6 and HEK293 cell lines,” Prentice noted. “These were derived from abortions in the 1970’s and 1980’s, not from ongoing abortion, and they are not fetal tissue, but their origin makes them ethically tainted,” Prentice said. “In these cases, the cell lines are not used to produce the coronavirus itself, but rather bits of SARS-CoV-2 DNA packaged in a carrier virus, and these carrier viruses are what is given in the vaccine. The tainted cells themselves are not contained in the vaccine, but they are used as factories to produce the carrier virus.”

Dr. Prentice added that “none of the proposed vaccines or treatments use fresh aborted fetal tissue.” And when it comes to vaccines and cells from aborted children, “The tainted cells themselves are not contained in any vaccine,” he emphasized. “Instead, the cells are used as factories to produce the carrier virus, and it’s the carrier virus or pieces of DNA that are used in the vaccine.”

Yet there are possible alternatives. “There are actually many licitly-produced vaccines under consideration, including vaccines using insect cells, ethically-derived human cells, and some that use no cells at all,” Prentice explained. “It’s important that we advocate for such vaccines and treatments so that all people can access new vaccines in good conscience.”

It’s still too early to know what will ultimately happen with COVID-19, vaccines, and other potential treatments. But what is certain is that vaccines can be created without using fetal cell lines, and the bodies of aborted children are not necessary for medical research and advancements — not even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CLICK HERE for FAQ on Vaccines
from National Catholic Bioethic Center
(Father Tad’s Organization)