Do the vaccines contain fetal cells?

None of the COVID vaccines approved or authorized in the US contain fetal tissue. However, all three vaccines used embryonic stem cell reproductions at some point in development. Strange as it may sound, this is not a new concept! In fact, many pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines use immortalized embryonic cell lines from elective abortion fetuses. 

How do we make vaccines?

Scientists often use cell lines to produce viral proteins that can be used in the development of vaccines. Vaccines for rubella, varicella, measles, mumps, polio, hepatitis A, shingles, and rabies were all made using a cell line reproduced from an aborted fetus. These vaccines have prevented >4.5 billion cases and >10 million related deaths globally.

Are there fetal cells in the COVID-19 vaccines?

No, there are not any actual fetal cells in the vaccine itself. But Pfizer and Moderna used HEK 293 embryonic cells in vaccine testing. And Johnson & Johnson used PER.C6 embryonic cells in vaccine development and production. These cells were derived from the kidney and retina of a fetuses from elective abortions in the Netherlands in the 1970s and 1980s. The cells are immortalized, meaning they are able to divide indefinitely in a culture dish. 

Can I be pro-life and still get the vaccine?

Many routine vaccines have used fetal cell lines in the development or production process. While a pro-life position is a matter of individual conscience, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope himself have said that “it is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process”. Additionally, pro-life medical ethicists have said that since the cell lines are immortal, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine does not increase demand for abortion. Therefore, in their view, getting the COVID-19 vaccine is consistent with a pro-life position.

Updated: October 22, 2021, 16:45 ET

Update review: HAY