Up until the first half of the twentieth century, most vaccines were developed by growing pathogens in live animals or by using animal cells. Today however several common vaccines are made by cultivating viruses in aborted human fetal fibroblast cells. Many people find this method abhorrent. In their view, the practice goes against the sanctity of human life. In addition, others—including well-regarded doctors and scientists who may not perceive an ethical problem—claim that the use of aborted fetal tissue in vaccines poses extreme health risks and is a likely factor in the skyrocketing autism epidemic.
Unlike bacteria, which can be grown in simple laboratory cultures, what scientists call viruses cannot reproduce on their own. They require a living host in which to grow. Manufacturers prefer human cells to animal cells for propagating viruses, citing both manufacturing and safety concerns. For example, pathogens such as varicella (chickenpox) do not grow well in most cells derived from species other than humans. In addition, animals are costly, require extensive monitoring and can become scarce. Finally, although the animal technique is still used for some viruses, scientists acknowledge that cells derived from animals pose the risk of carrying unwanted bacteria or viruses that can contaminate vaccines and be harmful to humans.1
Consider the polio vaccines administered to millions of people from 1955 through 1963. As a direct result of their manufacture with rhesus monkey kidney cells, the vaccines eventually were discovered to be contaminated with a monkey virus called simian virus 40 (SV40).1 Subsequent research connected SV40 to cancer in humans, including brain tumors, bone cancers, lung cancers and leukemia.2 In the 1990s, a molecular pathologist at Loyola Medical Center detected SV40 in 33 percent of patients with bone cancer3 and 60 percent of those with mesothelioma.4 By 2001, sixty-two papers from thirty laboratories around the world had reported SV40 in human tissues and tumors, including pituitary and thyroid cancers.2 Despite these and similar findings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) persists in its claim that there is no validity to the science correlating vaccines, SV40 and human cancers.5
THE RISE OF FETAL CELL CULTURES
The fetal embryo fibroblast cells used to grow vaccine viruses were first obtained from the elective termination of two pregnancies in the 1960s. These aborted fetuses provided for two primary cell cultures that have since been used to prepare hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines.
The first diploid human cell line, WI-38, originated in the United States in 1962. Leonard Hayflick, an American anatomist, isolated and developed this cell line from the lung cells of a healthy twelve-week-old aborted female fetus.6 The initials WI are a reference to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wistar Institute, and the number 38 refers to the specific fetus in question. The Wistar Institute recruited Hayflick in 1958 to run its cell-culture laboratory.7 The Institute still bills itself as a “global leader” in vaccine development.8
The second primary diploid human cell line, called MRC-5, was developed by J.P. Jacobs and colleagues in 1966, using Hayflick’s technology.9 MCR-5 was derived from the lung cells of a healthy fourteen-week-old aborted male human fetus. The initials MRC refer to the Medical Research Council in London, England.
Later, Dutch molecular biologist Alex van der Eb at Leiden University and colleagues developed two other human cell lines used in vaccine production: HEK-293, generated in 1973 from aborted human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells, and PER.C6, developed in 1995 from the retinal tissue of an eighteen-week-old fetus aborted in 1985.10-12 Additionally, scientists in Wuhan, China developed a new aborted fetal cell line for vaccine production in 2015, called Walvax-2.13 The 2015 cell line is derived from the lung tissue of a healthy three-month-old human female fetus who was ultimately selected from among nine aborted fetuses.
Hayflick is credited with discovering the number of times a normal human cell population will divide before cell division stops, a process known as the “Hayflick limit.” Hayflick demonstrated that a healthy, noncancerous, human fetal cell population will divide only between forty and sixty times in cell culture before aging and entering a phase called senescence. His finding overturned French Nobel laureate Alexis Carrel’s previous unconfirmed contention that normal cells can divide indefinitely (i.e., are “immortal”) under certain laboratory conditions.7
Given the Hayflick limit, how are vaccine scientists able to obtain a “limitless supply” of fetal cells? The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) explains how on its website, referring to something called “confluence” (the proportion of the cell growth surface covered by cells):
The beauty of cell culture is that the cells grow to confluence in the container to which they are seeded. Once they reach confluence, they can be “split” into a series of additional containers which can then be “split” when they reach confluence and so on. In this way the cell quantities expand exponentially.14
In short, fetal cell lines are “growth factories,”14 used for a wide variety of viruses “that can be processed into inactivated whole virus, live attenuated, live-vector, split, subunit and recombinant vaccines.”15
The list of approved vaccines in the U.S. that use human fetal tissue in vaccine development includes vaccines on both the CDC’s pediatric as well as adult recommended schedules:16
- Adenovirus type 4 and Type 7: WI-38
- Ebola: HEK-293, PER.C6
- Hepatitis vaccines (hepatitis A; hepatitis A and B; and hepatitis A and typhoid): MRC-5
- Herpes zoster (shingles): WI-38, MRC-5
- Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR-II), MMR plus varicella (MMRV), mumps and rubella (MR) and rubella: WI-38, MRC-5
- Polio and polio vaccines combined with diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib): MRC-5
- Rabies: MRC-5
- Smallpox: MRC-5
- Varicella (chickenpox): WI-38, MRC-5
Would-be manufacturers racing to make a Covid-19 vaccine are also using human fetal cell lines. Although the Trump administration has worked to impose restrictions on the use of fetal tissue in other research, it nonetheless supports government funding of Covid-19 vaccines manufactured from existing fetal cell lines. Under the White House’s Operation Warp Speed, which aims to accelerate the development and approval of at least one Covid-19 vaccine by January 2021, the administration committed $456 million dollars to the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Research & Development, Inc.,17 which is using PER.C6 cells, and over one billion dollars to the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca partnership,18 which is using HEK-293 cells.19 This funding is committed through the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA)—part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—which requires that each entity meet specific milestones in order to receive funds. Other companies using fetal cell lines for the production of Covid-19 vaccines include CanSino Biologics, Inc. and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, Altimmune and the University of Pittsburgh.20
A University of Pittsburgh researcher, Andrea Gambotto, views fetal cells as “more useful than ethically derived sources.”19 According to Gambotto, “Cultured [nonhuman] animal cells can produce the same proteins, but they would be decorated with different sugar molecules, which—in the case of vaccines—runs the risk of failing to evoke a robust and specific immune response.”19 Despite these claims, some companies are developing Covid-19 vaccines that do not rely on cell lines from aborted fetuses for their manufacture. Alternatives presented as more “ethical” include the use of pluripotent stem cells and tissue from placentas, umbilical cords and amniotic fluid. In 2018, the Trump administration gave twenty million dollars in grants to develop alternatives to the use of “human fetal tissue obtained from elective abortions.”21
The very first licensed vaccine made from a human cell line was developed to prevent adenoviruses—a group of common viruses that can cause cold-like symptoms. This vaccine was initially used by the military in the late 1960s.22 Other human-cell-line-reliant vaccines soon followed, most famously the rubella vac cine invented by Dr. Stanley Plotkin—dubbed by CNBC the “Godfather of Vaccines”—who also worked at the Wistar Institute (see sidebar). Rubella, also known as German measles, generally causes only mild rashes and fever, but in pregnant women, rubella infection can lead to devastating developmental defects in the fetus.
Plotkin cultured rubella virus from a fetus aborted because the mother was infected with rubella. His rubella vaccine strain is called RA 27/3 because Plotkin made twenty-six attempts to isolate the rubella virus from fetal tissue before succeeding with the twenty-seventh aborted fetus sent to the Wistar Institute.23 Consisting of a weakened or attenuated version of the virus strain grown in the WI-38 cell line, Plotkin’s vaccine was the first rubella vaccine to use a human fetal cell line as a growth medium.24 In 1979, Plotkin’s rubella formulation was incorporated into Maurice Hilleman’s measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine—in use up to the present day—replacing the original rubella component developed by Hilleman.25
Public opinion about vaccination may vary among those of every faith, but for many the idea of injecting oneself or one’s children with vaccines cultured in fetal tissue is morally abhorrent. Plotkin’s dismissive remarks about religion and religious exemptions notwithstanding (see sidebar below), the ethical implications of using abortion-tainted vaccines are a real concern. As citizens of the U.S.A., we have an expectation that the government will respect our religious beliefs and will not pass laws that unnecessarily interfere with individual means of worship.
State laws increasingly dictate mandatory vaccination, however, including requiring vaccines for school and even university attendance.31 Five states—California, Maine, Mississippi, New York and West Virginia—have revoked the right (thus far still recognized in other states) to claim either a personal-conscientious belief exemption or a religious belief exemption to vaccination. Parents who live in one of those states are forced to vaccinate their children unless they qualify for a notoriously difficult-to-obtain medical exemption. Under California’s Senate Bill 277, passed in 2015, children in daycare or in private or public elementary or secondary school must be fully age-appropriately vaccinated for diphtheria, hepatitis B, Hib, measles, mumps, pertussis, poliomyelitis, rubella, tetanus, varicella and any other disease deemed appropriate by the California Department of Health.32 The bill’s sponsor, Senator and pediatrician Richard Pan, was recorded on video falsely claiming that vaccines are not made from aborted fetal cells, and he also insists that vaccines do not contain mercury.33 (Information on the CDC’s website shows that both of Pan’s claims are blatantly false.34,35)
In addition to ethical concerns, there are serious health ramifications associated with using aborted fetal cell lines to make vaccines because every single vaccine produced in this manner contains DNA contaminants. According to the biomedical research entity Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI), a total of twenty-four vaccines are produced using cells from aborted fetuses and/or contain DNA, proteins or related cellular debris from cell cultures derived from aborted human fetuses.36 Ten of these vaccines are regularly used in America.37 Vaccines identify these sources of human proteins as human albumin derived from human blood or genetically engineered human albumin made from yeast, but vaccine package inserts do not contain any information about where the human blood is obtained. In addition to vaccines, there are currently three FDA-approved recombinant drugs (with up to eighty-five more coming soon) that are produced using human fetal cell lines or proteins.23
Dr. Theresa Deisher is the founder and lead scientist at SCPI, whose mission is “to educate the public about vaccine safety, as well as to pressure manufacturers to provide better and safer vaccines.”38 Deisher obtained her PhD in molecular and cellular physiology from Stanford University and has spent over twenty years in commercial biotechnology.
In an April 2019 “open letter to legislators regarding fetal cell DNA in vaccines,” Deisher describes the problem of DNA contaminants in Merck’s MMR-II vaccine, reporting that its production process results in a vaccine that is heavily contaminated with human fetal cell DNA. Her studies have revealed that the levels of fetal DNA in MMR-vaccinated children have the potential to incite autoimmunity in susceptible children through overactivation of toll-like receptors (receptors that play a key role in the innate immune system).38
To illustrate the autoimmune capability of even tiny amounts of DNA residue, Deisher’s letter explains how fetal DNA sets a pregnant mother’s labor into motion: “[L]abor is triggered by fetal DNA from the baby that builds up in the mother’s bloodstream, triggering a massive immune rejection of the baby. This is labor.” But whereas labor is a “naturally desired autoimmune reaction,” the same cannot be said of the childhood autoimmunity that alarmingly can result from injection with fetal-cell-manufactured vaccines. Deisher states, “Anyone who says that the fetal DNA contaminating our vaccines is harmless either does not know anything about immunity and toll-like receptors or they are not telling the truth.” Deisher also firmly reiterates, “If fetal DNA can trigger labor. . . then those same levels in vaccines can trigger autoimmunity in a child,” concluding that “This is direct biological evidence that fetal DNA contaminants in vaccines are not in low innocuous amounts” but are “a very strong proinflammatory trigger.”38
In her letter, Dr. Deisher writes that injecting children with human fetal DNA contaminants not only runs the risk of causing the immune system of genetically susceptible children to attack their own body, leading to autoimmune disease, but also introduces the frightening potential for “insertional mutagenesis,” because the fetal DNA contaminants are the “perfect size” to incorporate into a child’s own DNA and cause mutations.38 Deisher cites gene therapy experiments in mice which demonstrated that very low levels of DNA fragments resulted in insertional mutagenesis in 100 percent of the mice injected. The levels of human fetal DNA fragments to which children are exposed from the MMR-II as well as vaccines for chickenpox and hepatitis A are far higher than the low levels that produced these results in mice.
A third concern identified by Deisher is retrovirus contamination. Deisher cites a retrovirus called human endogenous retrovirus K (HERVK) as a known contaminant in the MMR vaccine, while pointing to research showing HERVK’s potential to be “reactivated” in humans39,40 and its association with autoimmune disease.41,42 She also notes that HERVK is in the same family as another retrovirus used in a worrisome gene therapy trial in which four out of nine boys developed mutations and cancer.43 Deisher’s conclusion: “It is therefore possible that the HERVK gene fragment present in the MMR vaccine. . . has the potential to induce gene insertion, fostering insertional mutagenesis and autoimmunity.”38
Dr. Deisher suggests splitting the MMR into three individual vaccines and also recommends that lawmakers and the public pressure manufacturers to follow Japan’s lead and produce vaccines derived from animal instead of human cell lines.38 Because vaccines produced with human fetal cell lines contain cellular debris and residual human DNA contaminants that may not be fully eliminated when a virus is purified,44 Deisher views animal cell lines as a safer method, suggesting that our immune systems can more easily recognize animal-derived contaminants as foreign and eliminate them. She observes, for example, that it is impossible for chicken DNA fragments to incorporate into human DNA.
FETAL DNA CONTAMINANTS AND AUTISM
Since the early 1980s, there has been an astronomical rise in autism. Whereas autism was observed in fewer than three in ten thousand children in the 1970s,45 the current U.S. rate is estimated at one in thirty-six children between the ages of three and seventeen.46 In New Jersey, which has the highest autism prevalence in the nation, one in twenty boys (5 percent) born in 2008 and assessed in 2016 were on the autism spectrum.47
Many studies have established that regressive autism is an immune-driven “whole body disorder” triggered largely by environmental factors.48 External triggers are capable of creating the hundreds of different DNA breaks and mutations observed in persons with autism. It is also known that the DNA and retroviral contaminants present in some vaccines can cause DNA breaks and mutations.
Dr. Deisher has described a “strong change-point correlation” between the rise of autism in the early 1980s and the increased use of aborted fetal tissue to grow vaccine viruses.49 In a large cohort study published in the Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology in 2014, Deisher and colleagues examined publicly available vaccination records of children in the U.S., Western Australia, the UK and Denmark born after 1969 and who later received an autism diagnosis. The authors found that three observed change points—dates when a substantial rise in autism occurred—corresponded with the introduction or increased doses of three vaccines manufactured with human fetal cell lines: the MMR, varicella and hepatitis A vaccines.50 Specifically, autism spiked in 1981, 1988 and 1996, and each spike coincided with increased exposure to human fetal-cell-line-produced vaccines.
Deisher points out that thimerosal, which contains mercury, can also cause DNA breaks,51 and more thimerosal-containing vaccines were added to the childhood vaccine schedule beginning around the second change point in 1988.52 In the early 2000s, thimerosal was reportedly removed from most childhood vaccines, but it is still used in the manufacturing process and remains in high quantities in influenza vaccines, which the CDC recommends annually for both children and adults. Dovetailing with Dr. Deisher’s findings, former drug company scientist Helen Ratajczak has pointed out—in a comprehensive review of autism research—that around the same time that vaccine manufacturers removed thimerosal from most vaccines, they began making more vaccines using human tissue.23
In 2015, another study by Dr. Deisher (published in Issues in Law and Medicine) combined laboratory and ecological methods to examine the relationship between human fetal-cell-line-manufactured vaccines and the autism epidemics in Norway, Sweden and the UK.53 In the three countries, the researchers observed that during a short-lived decline in MMR vaccination rates in the late 1990s, the prevalence of autism also fell and then climbed as MMR vaccination rates again surged. The study concluded that the human fetal cell lines used to make the MMR and hepatitis A vaccines create final products with “unacceptably high levels of fetal DNA fragment contaminants” capable of being delivered to the cell nucleus and integrating into the genome. Moreover the amounts of residual fragments detected sig nificantly exceed the limits specified in FDA guidelines for industry. The rubella portion of the MMR contains human-derived fetal DNA contaminants that are ten times higher than the per-vaccine-dose World Health Organization threshold.38,54
In Italy, scientists from the non-profit Corvelva organization performed DNA resequencing testing of GlaxoSmithKline’s Priorix-Tetra MMR-plus-varicella (MMRV) vaccine.55 Their cutting-edge analysis produced the disturbing finding that the human fetal DNA present in the vaccine—produced using the male-fetus-derived MRC-5 cell line—is a “complete human genome” with all of the chromosomes of a male individual. The match between the human reference genome and the vaccine DNA was 99.76 percent. However the Corvelva researchers also found that the human genomic DNA contained in the vaccine was “anomalous,” exhibiting variants of genes known to be associated with cancer. The Italian scientists concluded that the vaccine “should be considered defective and potentially dangerous for human health, in particular of the pediatric population, who is much more vulnerable to genetic and autoimmune damage due to immaturity in their repair systems.”55 They pointed out that the pharmaceutical industry has never conducted toxicity profiling for DNA contamination in the MMR vaccine.
ON THE LEGAL FRONT LINES
Dr. Deisher was the first scientist to discover adult cardiac-derived stem cells and has championed adult stem cell research for more than two decades. As a plaintiff in a U.S. federal lawsuit to prohibit use of federal taxpayer dollars for “embryo destructive research,” Deisher’s work informed legislation promoting greater use of adult stem cells, which has resulted in fourteen FDA-approved adult stem cell products.56
Deisher also has served as an expert witness in a civil case brought forth by Planned Parenthood against two undercover journalists, Sandra Merritt and David Daleiden, who had previously consulted with Deisher. In the summer of 2015, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released videos by Merritt and Daleiden that kicked off national awareness of the commercialization of fetal body parts and the harvesting of live-born fetuses for research. Specifically, the CMP videos showed Planned Parenthood staff discussing abortion procedures with Daleiden, an individual they believed to be interested in buying aborted fetal parts for research.57
One of the CMP videos featured abortionist Deborah Nucatola talking about how she (illegally) alters the abortion procedure to get better organ samples. Nucatola admitted changing the position of the baby to breech to increase dilation for the purpose of garnering an intact head during an abortion. She recounted how living newborns are then dissected to sell their hearts, brains and other organs while their hearts are still beating.58 According to Deisher, this includes babies born alive at five to six months old, with beating hearts cut out—without anesthesia—for research purposes; researchers also cut through live babies’ faces to collect brain tissue.58 In a recent interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Deisher said, “I wouldn’t do that to a mouse.”59
Also testifying on behalf of Merritt and Daleiden was a doctor named Forest Smith, who has performed over fifty thousand abortions in his career. In his expert testimony, Smith stated that there was no doubt in his mind that at least some of Planned Parenthood’s fetuses were live births. Smith described how abortionists use exceptionally large doses of the labor-inducing and abortifacient drug misoprostol, which causes what he characterized as “tumultuous labor.”58 According to Smith, the drug also causes “fetal expulsion”—a process that allows a perfectly healthy, undamaged baby capable of living outside the womb to be born alive for organ harvesting. Before the widespread adoption of misoprostol, stated Smith, abortionists traditionally used a drug called digoxin to “induce fetal demise” prior to surgical abortion.60 Many women who undergo abortions willingly donate their fetuses after being told that they have an opportunity to provide “tissue” for life-saving research.61
In 2018, Planned Parenthood received 564.8 million taxpayer dollars in federal grants and reimbursements.62 That same year, the National Institutes of Health gave research groups over one hundred million dollars in taxpayer-funded federal grants to experiment on human fetal tissue.63 The business has become so lucrative that one undercover CMP video featured a Planned Parenthood director saying “I want a Lamborghini” as she haggled with Daleiden over the price she would charge him for human organs.64
As further evidence of what Smith described, scientists responsible for developing the newer Walvax-2 fetal cell line have openly noted how they induced labor using “water bag” abortion techniques. The purpose was to shorten the delivery time and prevent the death of the fetus, thereby ensuring live intact organs and the ability to send the organs to laboratories immediately for cell preparation.65,66
BRINGING TRANSPARENCY AND STANDING UP FOR FREEDOM
There is no scientific necessity for the continued use of aborted embryo or fetal tissue because ample modern alternatives exist. Surely we do not need to support biotech companies that use fetal cell lines in the research and development of vaccines, or even of cosmetics and food products.
We need to know what is in all of these products. For example, many people would be horrified to learn that cells from aborted fetuses have been used in research to create flavor enhancers for food products such as soups and soft drinks.67 How many people would forgo these foods if they knew the process by which they were developed? The same goes for vaccines. Under no circumstance should anyone be forced to use a product obtained from aborted embryos or fetuses—and under every circumstance, we have the right to know how products are created. Although there should be no exceptions to this rule, we have laws that override valid objections and mandate vaccines. Parents should always be justified in citing a religious or philosophical objection to vaccination for their children, as should all adults.
Abraham Lincoln called the Declaration of Independence “a rebuke and a stumbling block to tyranny and oppression.” Together with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence has inspired Americans to fight for freedom for the past two hundred forty-four years. A primary tenet of these three founding documents is religious freedom. Would our forefathers not be rolling over in their graves knowing that politicians who take money from pharmaceutical companies are dictating one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination laws, asserting that they alone may deem what constitutes religious rights in regard to vaccination?
ADMISSIONS FROM THE “GODFATHER OF VACCINES”
In a 2019 deposition, Stanley Plotkin answered questions from a lawyer who was defending the rights of a mother who refused to vaccinate her child due to concerns about the ingredients in vaccines.26 Plotkin stated that he had gone through seventy-six aborted fetuses in just one study to determine whether they could be used to make vaccines. Under oath, Plotkin admitted that after harvesting, the fetuses were cut up into little pieces and cultured by Plotkin’s coworkers. Fetal body parts used in the research included the pituitary gland, lungs, skin, kidney, spleen, heart and tongue. The fetuses in question had been developing normally and were all at least three months old when aborted. By the end of the third month of pregnancy, a baby is fully formed, with arms, hands, fingers, feet and toes; the beginnings of fingernails, toenails and teeth; and the ability to open and close fists and mouth. The circulatory and urinary systems are working, and the liver produces bile.27
During the 2019 deposition, Plotkin did not contest the fact that some of the fetuses came from women who had abortions in psychiatric institutions, and he openly admitted that he had used orphans and mentally handicapped persons to study experimental vaccines.26 Plotkin also agreed that he had once written that it was better to perform experiments on those with limited “potential” to contribute to society, such as children with disabilities, rather than on those without such disabilities.28 In addition, he admitted using babies of mothers in prison to study an experimental vaccine as well as individuals under colonial rule in the Belgian Congo, where his studies involved over a million people.29 Plotkin, the author of the standard reference book Vaccines, also said that he is an atheist and does not believe anyone should be allowed to claim a religious objection to vaccination.26 Plotkin, incidentally, received one diphtheria vaccine in childhood as opposed to the sixty-nine doses of sixteen different vaccines that most children are now required to get.20
COVID VACCINE CONCERNS
The race to develop a coronavirus vaccine has been running at lightning speed since the SARS-CoV-2 virus was named as the purported cause of Covid-19 illness in January 2020. As of late August, researchers around the world were in the process of developing more than one hundred sixty-five vaccines. Thirty-two of these coronavirus vaccine candidates are currently in human trials, two of which have already been approved for early or limited use.68,69 In Russia, President Vladimir Putin announced approval of a vaccine on August 11, initially to be given only to “a small number of citizens from vulnerable groups,” including medical personnel and the elderly.70
Under normal circumstances, vaccine development requires a testing process that can take a minimum of five to six years and sometimes decades, and even then scientists cut important corners such as not using inert placebos.71 The general stages of the development cycle begin with preclinical testing where scientists give the vaccine to animals. This is followed by Phase One safety trials in a small number of human volunteers to test safety and dosage as well as confirm that the vaccine stimulates the production of antibodies. In expanded Phase Two trials, typically involving hundreds of participants, scientists assess whether the vaccine’s effects vary by age group (e.g., children, the elderly) or other factors such as health status. Finally, Phase Three trials are meant to determine the vaccine’s safety and efficacy when given to thousands of people over a specified length of time.72
Of grave concern is the fact that Covid-19 vaccine developers are compressing standard timelines. Many are forgoing animal studies. Russia’s vaccine, Sputnik V, was given approval after testing in only seventy-six people, well before Phase Three trials had even begun.70,73 China approved experimental use of a coronavirus vaccine in selected “high-risk” groups in late July, without any clinical trial results.74 These premature authorizations could have dire implications, especially considering the fact that previous attempts at developing comparable vaccines have triggered lethal hyperimmune reactions in vaccinated animals or children who later came in contact with the wild virus. This immune backfiring, or “pathogenic priming,” is the reason that no vaccine has ever been approved for the common cold or the coronaviruses associated with Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).75
Regrettably vaccine manufacturers have a strong incentive to win the Covid-19 vaccine race, despite the failure of previous attempts. Companies have the potential to earn billions of dollars once their vaccine goes to market, and some have already profited substantially through stock evaluations. Moderna, a company that has never brought a vaccine or any other drug to market, saw its stock price rise fourfold virtually overnight based on coronavirus vaccine speculation. 76 Additionally the federal government is granting billions of dollars to expedite the development of a coronavirus vaccine. For example, Moderna received nearly one billion dollars,77 and Novavax received 1.6 billion dollars in federal funding.78 To date, the White House has committed twelve billion dollars to six vaccine candidates under its Operation Warp Speed vaccine plan.79 Wealthy nations have struck deals to purchase a total of more than two billion doses of a coronavirus vaccine that has yet to be proven either safe or effective.80
In the U.S., vaccine manufacturers have full immunity from all liability for any potential injuries or deaths through a declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act.81 So even though companies and governments are fast-tracking the vaccines—and some manufacturers, like Moderna, are using highly experimental and potentially dangerous RNA or DNA technologies—citizens will not be able to sue if a Covid-19 vaccine harms them. Even supposing that a never-before-used experimental technology could produce a “safe” vaccine, one must also ask how long such a vaccine would be effective, considering that the coronavirus appears to be “mutating.”82 This begs an important question: will manufacturers have to chase down the mutations and retool their Covid-19 vaccines annually, using the same guesswork involved in manufacturing each year’s poorly performing influenza vaccine?
A June poll found that only about half of Americans reported that they planned to get a Covid-19 vaccine.83 The remainder were either unsure (31 percent) or planned to decline (20 percent). Perhaps this is because they know that systemic adverse reactions are common among Covid-19 vaccine trial participants.84 The most important question may be: are you willing to get a vaccine brought to market at unprecedented speed for a virus that is mutating and primarily has affected older individuals who already had serious health problems?85 If your answer is no, call your representatives today and let them know you are against a mandated coronavirus vaccine. If we do not make our voices heard, mandates are sure to follow.
- Human cell strains in vaccine development. https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/human-cell-strains-vaccine-development.
- Miller NZ. The polio vaccine: a critical assessment of its arcane history, efficacy, and long-term health-related consequences. Medical Veritas. 2004;1:239-251.
- Rizzo P, Di Resta I, Stach R, et al. Evidence for and implications of SV40-like sequences in human mesotheliomas and osteosarcomas. Dev Biol Stand. 1998;94:33-40.
- Carbone M, Rizzo P, Grimley PM, et al. Simian virus-40 large-T antigen binds p53 in human mesotheliomas. Nat Med. 1997;3(8):908-912.
- Historical vaccine safety concerns. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/concerns-history.html.
- Gómez-Tatay L. Is it true that there are vaccines produced using aborted foetuses? Bioethics Observatory, 2017. https://www.observatoriobioetica.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Is-it-true-that-there-are-vaccines-produced-using-aborted-foetuses1.pdf.
- Shay JW, Wright WE. Hayflick, his limit, and cellular ageing. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2000;1(1):72-76.
- Jacobs JP. Serially-propagated human diploid cells: a synopsis of the present position concerning their use or producing viral vaccines and interferon. Dev Biol Stand. 1979;42:13-18.
- Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, Gaithersburg, MD, May 16, 2001. https://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20170404095417/https:/www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/01/transcripts/3750t1_01.pdf.
- Fulwiler J. Vaccines and aborted fetal tissue. October 6, 2007. https://jenniferfulwiler.com/2007/10/vaccines-and-aborted-fetal-tissue/.
- PER.C6 cell lines. https://www.gmp-creativebiolabs.com/per-c6-cell-lines_74.htm.
- Ma B, He L-F, Zhang Y-L, et al. Characteristics and viral propagation properties of a new human diploid cell line, Walvax-2, and its suitability as a candidate cell substrate for vaccine production. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2015;11(4):998-1009.
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). News & views: Why were fetal cells used to make certain vaccines? April 25, 2017. https://www.chop.edu/news/news-views-why-were-fetal-cells-used-make-certain-vaccines.
- Human cell line: PER C6. http://novaccine.com/vaccine-ingredients/human-cell-line-per-c6/.
- Cohen J. The $1 billion bet: Pharma giant and U.S. government team up in an all-out coronavirus vaccine push. Science, March 31, 2020.
- Lauerman J, Ring S. U.S. raises ante in vaccine race with $1.2 billion for Astra. Bloomberg, May 21.
- Ertelt S. Oxford University and AstraZeneca making coronavirus vaccine using cells from aborted babies. LifeNews, July 21, 2020.
- Sherley JL, Prentice D. An ethics assessment of COVID-19 vaccine programs. Charlotte Lozier Institute, May 6, 2020. https://lozierinstitute.org/an-ethics-assessment-of-covid-19-vaccine-programs/.
- Bilger M. Trump admin funding pro-life alternatives to using aborted baby parts for research. LifeNews, December 10, 2018.
- Human cell strains in vaccine development. https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/human-cell-strains-vaccine-development.
- Dr. Mercola. Human DNA from aborted embryonic cells in vaccines linked to autism. https://vaccineimpact.com/2011/human-dna-from-aborted-embryonic-cells-in-vaccines-linked-to-autism/.
- Ross CH. Stanley Alan Plotkin’s development of a rubella vaccine (1969). The Embryo Project Encyclopedia, June 28, 2017. https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/stanley-alan-plotkins-development-rubella-vaccine-1969.
- Rubella. https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/rubella.
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This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2020