With concerns about the Ebola virus on the minds of Americans and people worldwide given new infections, one pro-life group is hoping that moral alternatives will be pursued when creating an Ebola vaccine.
Children of God for Life announced today that several Ebola vaccines in development for use worldwide are made using aborted fetal cell lines despite the fact that moral alternatives are reported as equally effective.
Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) and NIAID are jointly developing their ChAd3 vector for delivering the Ebola virus gene using HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney) cells. Likewise, NewLink Genetics of Iowa used HEK-293 cells for their VSV-EBOV Ebola vaccine in Canada, while Johnson and Johnson/Crucell developed theirs using PER C6 cells, derived from retinal tissue of an 18 week gestation aborted baby.
“There is absolutely no reason to use aborted fetal cell lines,” stated Debi Vinnedge, Director of Children of God for Life. “At least two other Ebola vaccines in development by the University of Texas and GeoVax are using either Vero cells or chicken eggs. Likewise, there are therapeutic products such as ZMapp (LeafBio) and TKM-Ebola (Tekmira) that are using plant or Vero cells.”
Vinnedge wrote to the Department of HHS, the NIH, the FDA and NIAID pointing out that even the US Department of Health listed other options such as yeast, insect, plant, bacteria, CHO, BHK, heLa and COS cells, in their own patent, stating, “The attenuated [ebola]virus can replicate well in a cell line that lacks interferon functions, such as Vero cells.”
“It is completely irresponsible of this Administration to put these problem vaccines on fast-track for approval and ignore the fact that a massive number of people may very well refuse them. Why not fast track a product that everyone can use in good conscience?” asked Vinnedge.
The pro-life group is urging pro-life Americans to contact the Obama administration and their members of Congress requesting that they expedite the morally acceptable alternatives.
Sylvia M. Burwell, Secretary
Dept of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue
Washington, DC 20201
Dr Francis S. Collins, Director
National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892
Dr Anthony Fauci, Director
NIAID Office of Communications and Government Relations
5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806
Bethesda, MD 20892-9806
Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993
View the letter sent to NIAID
List of all aborted fetal products and moral alternatives: www.cogforlife.org/vaccineListOriginalFormatEbola.pdf