New ethical shingles vaccine proves babies don’t have to die

Assisted suicide injection needle

While some scientists claim they need aborted babies to develop and produce vaccines, vaccine researchers have just developed an FDA-approved shingles vaccine without the use of fetal cells.

A recent story reveals that, despite the insistence that aborted fetal cells are necessary for vaccine development, a new shingles vaccine, Shingrix, has been developed by pharmaceutical giant, Glaxo SmithKline (GSK). The new vaccine was created from “Chinese hamster cells, unlike Merck’s Zostavax which uses aborted fetal cells.” Until October, when the FDA approved it, people with the painful shingles virus either had to suffer through it or use Merck’s aborted fetal cell creation.

This latest scientific innovation proves that fetal cell lines are absolutely not essential to combat diseases. As the Associated Press reported last month, this new vaccine is actually more effective than the current one made with fetal cells. The AP reports: “[I]t prevents shingles in about 90 percent of people. Merck’s is about 50 percent effective.”

But some vaccine researchers still insist that they need new aborted children for research because the “supply chain is dwindling” from the aborted fetal cell lines used to make common vaccines, such as Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and chickenpox. (Chickenpox and shingles are related conditions, yet researchers are taking two different avenues to combat them. This is not uncommon in the ongoing conflict over ethical manufacturing of vaccines.)

How a three month old fetus became a new cell line called Walvax-2

Even some prolifers have agreed that since the aborted fetal cell lines were already in existence (and not created for the purpose of making a vaccine), at least some good came from the babies who died, though they would never condone the abortion itself. Focus on the Family and the Catholic Church make this argument, as they advise parents on making ethical vaccine decisions.

But now Walvax-2 (Human diploid cell strains, or HDCSs), a new fetal cell line, is creating yet another ethical dilemma. Its development shows that aborted babies will continue to be used as research specimens in order to fight disease — at least until ethical vaccine development prevails.

Walvax-2 was developed after researchers chose a three-month old preborn female baby out of nine available aborted children. Chinese researchers, Bo Ma and others, discuss the vaccine line’s development in their article, “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.”

HDCSs have been considered ideal for vaccine development for years. Virtually every child vaccinated today has received a vaccine containing cell line MRC-5 or WI-38.

  • MRC-5 was developed from the cells of a preborn baby aborted for “psychiatric reasons.” The mother was a physically healthy 27-year-old.
  • WI-38 was developed from the from lung tissue of a three-month-old preborn female baby.

Between those, MRC-5 and WI-38’s cell lines were used to create numerous vaccines, including chickenpox (varicella), hepatitis, (DTaP + polio+ HiB), Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR), smallpox, and others.

Now Walvax-2 is striving to join the ranks of popular aborted fetal cell lines. Researchers explain that while HDCSs “are of great use in developing human vaccines,” it’s hard to find “qualified” ones for mass production. So, they “have developed a new HDCS, Walvax-2, which we derived from the lung tissue of a 3-month-old fetus.” They say their analysis “showed the Walvax-2 cells to be equal or superior to MRC-5 cells for cultivating these viruses.”

Though the babies used for older vaccines have already died, their cell lines cannot last forever, and new aborted babies will be used for new vaccines. The researchers write:

Due to the diminishing supply of WI-38 cells, the MRC-5 line has become the most widely used cell strain in the production of HDCS-derived human vaccines.

We obtained 9 fetuses through rigorous screening based on carefully specified inclusion criteria…. Walvax-2 … met all of these criteria and proved to be the best cell line following careful evaluation….

After ‘Live Abortions’ Babies are Killed Outside the Womb to Preserve Their Cells for Vaccines.

This prompts memories of The Center for Medical Progress investigative videos. While these are Chinese researchers, the nature of the research is similar to what happens in U.S. research labs. The Walvax-2 researchers’ criteria for selecting the best aborted baby to provide the cell line is, “1) gestational age 2 to 4 months; 2) induction of labor with the water bag method” so “tissues from the freshly aborted fetuses [are] immediately sent to the laboratory for the preparation of the cells.”

The second criterion provides a troubling peek into what it takes to obtain a baby that will “qualify” for this research. Children of God for Life explains:

They [the researchers] further noted how they induced labor using a “water bag” abortion to shorten the delivery time and prevent the death of the fetus to ensure live intact organs which were immediately sent to the labs for cell preparation.

What is a “water bag” abortion? Illegal in the United States but practiced in China, it requires delivering a baby via water bag induction, so that the baby’s organs are fresh and intact. Once outside the womb, the baby is killed, her organs harvested. The U.S. has used Chinese abortions as a way to get fetal cell lines for vaccines, though the same process would be illegal in America.

Even more disturbing is the revelation that the public has been sold the lie that no more abortions would ever be necessary to produce vaccines:

“This may be the biggest lie ever told to the American public and the world at large,” said Mrs. [Debi] Vinnedge [Executive Director for Children of God for Life].  “Not only have there been hundreds of abortions directly involved with vaccine research – specifically for that purpose where they altered abortion methods to obtain intact fetal organs, but we are now seeing more and more abortions for fetal research and new cell lines emerging for viral vaccine cultivation.”

As CMP videos showed, it is not uncommon to alter the method of abortion in order to get an intact fetus, even though doing so is illegal in the U.S.:

Federal law also requires that no alteration in the timing or method of abortion be done for the purposes of fetal tissue collection (42 U.S.C. 289g-1).

While Walvax-2 was not developed in the U.S., it behooves governing authorities to question the ways U.S. researchers happen to obtain intact fetuses or “live intact organs “as they research cures for diseases and shines a light on the dangers of using brutally gathered fetal cells lines.

Ethical Vaccine Development

While the majority agrees that vaccines are beneficial, many are conflicted by the unethical use of aborted babies to make this happen.

Abortion supporters present it this way: Either the baby dies and we help save you, or the baby lives and you might die — an either/or fallacy of logic. Of course, it’s never stated that way, but the idea is that abortion is necessary to develop vaccines and cure diseases.

This is a lie.

In its statement on permitting vaccine use, Focus on the Family “calls upon vaccine manufacturers to develop immunizations that do not rely on fetal tissue from aborted babies.” The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) agrees: “A long-term solution lies in working to ensure that future vaccines and other medicines are not based on cooperation with practices demeaning human life.”

Children of God for Life produces a chart showing the list of vaccines available, including ethical alternatives. A good number of vaccines on the list have these, but some are not approved for use in the United States for various reasons.

The modern world of vaccine development proves at least two significant things: 1) the current fetal cell lines are, indeed, dwindling, and new babies’ abortion deaths are being used to develop vaccines (meaning we cannot continue to argue it’s something that happened a long time ago, so we might as well benefit from it), and 2) it is entirely possible to produce effective vaccines without babies having to die in the process. Shingrix has proven what’s possible.

What is Live Action News?

Live Action News is pro-life news and commentary from a pro-life perspective. Learn More

Contact for questions, corrections, or if you are seeking permission to reprint any Live Action News content.

GUEST ARTICLES: To submit a guest article to Live Action News, email with an attached Word document of 800-1000 words. Please also attach any photos relevant to your submission if applicable. If your submission is accepted for publication, you will be notified within three weeks. Guest articles are not compensated. (See here for Open License Agreement.) Thank you for your interest in Live Action News!

To Top