Vice President Mike Pence will publicly receive the coronavirus vaccine tomorrow morning in a public show of support and good faith for the vaccines the Trump administration helped produce in order to encourage Americans to get the vaccine.
When he does, Pence will be getting the Pfizer vaccines that pro-life groups and pro-life doctors certify was not made with cells from babies killed in abortions, unlike some other vaccines that have been produced.
“On Friday, December 18th, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence will publicly receive a COVID-19 vaccine to promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people. Vice President Pence and Second Lady Pence will be joined by Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who will also receive the vaccine. This event will take place at the White House. Additional details about the Vice President’s event are forthcoming,” the White House has announced.
When it comes to the process used to make the vaccines, four pro-life medical groups have provided details about whether the development of two new coronavirus vaccines involved cells from aborted babies. The Catholic Medical Association, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations said the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna did not use cells from aborted babies in their production phases.
Though “it is true that the animal-phase testing for these vaccines used abortion-derived fetal cells, commendably, it does not appear that production methods utilized such cells,” the pro-life groups said.
The pro-life medical groups said ethical alternatives to cells from aborted babies are available, such as umbilical cord tissue and adult stem cells, neither of which involve the destruction of human life. They said many viral vaccines that have been produced in recent years did not use “abortion-derived fetal cell lines for their production.”
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“These and other ethical approaches provide encouragement for the future, where no vaccine will violate the dignity of human life in their production,” they continued.
They urged pharmaceutical companies to commit to the “assurances of safety, efficacy” and “uncompromised ethical development” of vaccines.
“It is profoundly important to recognize the vaccines that may have been developed with the use of abortion-derived fetal cell lines,” they said. “This awareness is necessary from the perspective of both the health care professional and the patient, and every participant in this process deserves to know the source of the vaccine used to allow them to follow their moral conscience.”
Meanwhile, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, 17 research groups are conducting ethical coronavirus vaccine experiments while five are not. The five using cells from aborted babies in their research include researchers with the University of Oxford, Johnson & Johnson and the University of Pittsburgh.
In May, U.S. Catholic Archbishop Joseph Naumann urged pro-life advocates to speak out against the unethical use of cells from aborted babies in the creation of a coronavirus vaccine.
Speaking with EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, Naumann said now is the time for Catholics and other pro-lifers to demand ethically developed vaccines.
“I think all we need really is for our pharmaceutical companies to realize that this is offensive to a large number of Americans and give them the encouragement, give our government the encouragement, to make sure these vaccines are not morally compromised in any way,” he said.
Vaccine producers are listening to pro-lifers’ concerns. In September, the company Sanofi-Pasteur announced plans to produce a new, ethically-developed polio vaccine. The project will replace an older polio vaccine that was developed with cells from an aborted baby, according to the Catholic News Agency. Sanofi-Pasteur is one of the largest vaccine production companies in the world.
Ethical alternatives to cells from aborted babies are available, including pluripotent stem cells and tissue from placentas, umbilical cords and amniotic fluid. In 2018, the Trump administration created a $20 million grant to invest in these ethical research alternatives.