"Doctor in face mask holding syringe with Covid-19 Vaccine text" by focusonmore.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Get vaccinated and help end the coronavirus pandemic!
Vaccines protect from disease and save lives!
Get the shot and protect those around you!
Get the shot and protect yourself!
The COVID-19 vaccine is like gold!
Getting a coronavirus shot is a privilege!
Love your neighbor and get vaccinated!
Oh! We may have a problem...
What about vaccines have been sourced or produced from human body parts?
What about those sourced/produced from fetal cells?
Cells from aborted babies?
Should we help save lives based on others who have been killed?
I'm talking about a matter which is of concern especially to the Christian community and to those who believe that life begins at conception. Many people believe that those who hold these kind of concerns about vaccines are "anti-vaxers." You may not hear this topic addressed in mainstream media. Most likely, you will hear that you ought to take any vaccine that you are offered, as long as it is rated as safe. As long as it saves lives, what is wrong with it? If it was developed using cells derived from a fetus whose mother ended her life, that unborn baby's death resulted in the saved life of another?
Here is the deal. In scientific research, there are three different types of stem cells. They are adult stem cells (derived derived from human tissues from humans ranging from birth upwards), embryonic stem cells (derived from deceased fetal children), and perinatal stem cells (derived from "baby-making materials like cord blood). There are few controversies with using adult stem cells or perinatal stem cells. The main controversies rest with using embryonic stem cells in scientific research and in developing medical treatments like vaccines. According to my research, scientists have widely used embryonic stem cells to search for cures for diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, diabetes, and a host of others.
In the case of using embryonic stem cells, the controversy comes when the stem cells come from a baby who has been aborted very early in the mother's pregnancy. You may rightly object that there should be no controversy of the fetus was miscarried. No foul play is involved in a miscarriage, tragic as it is for expecting parents. However, we have in mind aborted fetuses. Research indicates that scientists prefer to use embryonic stem cells from fetuses that have been aborted rather than miscarried. And many scientists prefer to use embryonic stem cells more than adult stem cells. This is because of the greater flexibility of embryonic stem cells. However, research tells me that adult stem cells can be made more flexible.
There is a lot of misinformation and outright lies out there about COVID-19 and about coronavirus vaccines. Some have suggested that the vaccine may be the prophetic Mark of the Beast as prophesied in the book of Revelation. Some have claimed that the vaccine comes with a human microchip. Both these notions are reported based on conspiracy theories. But much is disinformation. Many believe that the vaccine may cause COVID-19, that it may cause infertility, or that it is plain unsafe. But it is fact that vaccine companies like AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson (among others; check the article below) have developed their vaccines with embryonic stem cells. However, neither vaccine has been yet authorized for use in the U.S.
Yes, I know that many of us have little ability to pick and choose what medical interventions we or our children can use. Most of us have to accept the vaccines we or our children receive. It will be the same case as the COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out over time. Millions of Americans (some 10 percent) in priority groups have already been vaccinated; millions have been fully vaccinated (5.5 percent). according to CNN). However, Pfizer and Moderna reportedly have not been developed using embryonic stem cells. So those who have so far been vaccinated, have not been in the position of considering if they ought to wait for a brand that is ethically developed.
I'm fully aware of these ethical concerns! I share them. I have read about those who have gone on record as stating that they will never, never take vaccines that have been developed using the cells of aborted unborn babies, or let their children get such vaccines. This is a thorny issue, as public health is involved. Vaccines have saved countless lives. So, if you decline vaccines for yourself and your children, based on this principle, you remain true to one value but endanger public health. This public health is another value. No one should have to pit one principle against another. But when scientists develop their life-saving interventions by using the cells of tissues from other destroyed lives, people will keep having to make tough calls.
Reports have indicated that certain childhood illnesses vaccines had been making a comeback. I personally know people who decline vaccines for themselves and their children. This is their choice. But they, and their children, will have to deal with the consequences of their choices. In a perfect would, we would never have to pick and choose between one principle and another. But we do not live in such a world. We'll often have to make difficult choices. Will we turn down a medical intervention, even though we can save lives through it? Because it was developed through the destruction of other lives? Or will we accept that medical intervention, though it comes to us because others lives were ended? How do we decide?
There are no easy answers if you believe that life begins at conception. Yes, experts tell us that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is essential to helping all of us one day move closer to "herd immunity" and normalcy. We want to do both. Yet we know that some vaccine brands, like AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, have been developed from the stem cells of aborted fetuses. At this time, neither brand is yet available for use in the U.S. Yet Pfizer and Moderna haven't been developed through using embryonic stem cells (though reportedly they apparently have been used in clinical trials). This situation, like so many others in life, is not ideal.
It seems that the matter of whether taking these vaccines is a gray area. This pandemic has now claimed over 500.000 lives. The more of us who get vaccinated, the more likely we can put this deadly pandemic behind us. What will we decide?
Myself, I plan on getting the COVID-19 vaccine when I am notified that it is my turn. And I hope I will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. I don't want to save lives at the price of another's oppression. Whatever we may say about our current President, he reportedly has ordered enough of the above two brands of vaccine to cover every American.
No life should be pitted against another.
This is a basic primer about what stem cells are and what they do. Then the different cell types are defined at the end. Read article.
This is a Catholic article about the COVID-19 vaccine and the pro-life movement. Read article.
This article about the ethics of the production of the COVID-19 vaccine is written from a scientific viewpoint. Read article.