Here’s How Many Dead Baby Cells Were Used In Making Covid Vaccines

Have you heard that the COVID-19 vaccine was made using cells from an aborted human fetus? It's a widely circulated claim and many Americans seem convinced that it's true. The real story may be shocking to some ...

Mayo Clinic Q and A: COVID-19 vaccine myths – Part II

December 20, 2020

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: There has been a lot of news coverage about the COVID-19 vaccines recently developed and now being administered across the U.S. But with so much information out there, I’m confused about whether these vaccines will be safe. Could you address some of my concerns?

ANSWER: As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued around the world, the brightest hope for ending the pandemic has been the vaccines being developed and administered. People have been sharing a lot of claims and misinformation, and this may make you hesitant as to whether these COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

FACT: Current mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were not created with and do not require the use of fetal cell cultures in the production process. – MAYO CLINIC

Below are the top myths and facts about COVID-19 vaccines:

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[This is Part II of this content; see Part 1 here.]

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccines were developed using fetal tissue.

Fact: Current mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were not created with and do not require the use of fetal cell cultures in the production process.

Myth: I won’t need to wear a mask after I get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Fact: It may take time for everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccination to get one. Also, while the vaccine may prevent you from getting sick, it is unknown at this time if you can still carry and transmit the virus to others after vaccination. Until more is understood about how well the vaccine works, continuing with precautions such as mask-wearingphysical distancing and washing hands frequently will be important.

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Myth: More people will die as a result of a negative side effect to the COVID-19 vaccines than would actually die from the virus.

Fact: There is a claim circulating on social media that COVID-19’s mortality rate is 1%-2% and that people should not be vaccinated against a virus with such a high survival rate. However, a 1% mortality rate is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu. In addition, mortality rates can vary widely and are influenced by age, sex and underlying health conditions.

While some people that receive the vaccine may develop symptoms as their immune system responds, remember that this is a common reaction when receiving any vaccine and these symptoms are not considered serious or life-threatening. You cannot get COVID-19 from the COVID-19 vaccines; they are inactivated vaccines, not live vaccines.

It’s important to recognize that getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is not just about survival from COVID-19. It’s about preventing spread of the virus to others and preventing infection that can lead to long-term negative health effects.

While no vaccine is 100% effective, they are far better than not getting vaccinated. The benefits outweigh the risks in healthy people.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine was developed as a way to control the general population either through microchip tracking or nano transducers in our brains.

Fact: There is no vaccine “microchip,” and the vaccine will not track people or gather personal information into a database. This myth started after comments made by Bill Gates from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation about a digital certificate of vaccine records. The technology he was referencing is not a microchip, has not been implemented in any manner, and is not tied to the development, testing or distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

More information will be forthcoming as vaccines become available in your area. Even after being vaccinated for COVID-19, you should continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands often. Learn more in Mayo Clinic’s FAQs on COVID-19 vaccines.— Compiled by Mayo Clinic staff


Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

[This is Part II of this content; see Part 1 here.]

FURTHER READING …

Melissa Moschella, Ph.D. | Dec 9, 2020

HERITAGE FOUNDATION – Pfizer, Moderna, and now AstraZeneca have produced successful COVID-19 vaccines—an achievement that is naturally being hailed as a nearly miraculous medical breakthrough.

But it has raised important ethical concerns in some quarters: Should pro-lifers refuse to use the vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from the tissue of aborted fetuses?

Pro-life ethicists and organizations like the Lozier Institute and the Personhood Alliance have cautioned that many of the COVID-19 vaccines under development are unethical because they are being created using fetal cell lines like HEK 293, thought to be derived from the kidney tissue of a fetus aborted in 1972.

While Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines—recently shown to be 90 percent and 94 percent effective, respectively—were not made using fetal cells, it is true that they did use HEK 293 for confirmatory lab testing.

And fetal cell lines are being used in the production of AstraZeneca/Oxford University’s vaccine—just revealed to be 90 percent effective in preventing infection—as well as those being developed by Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Janssen, among others.

Let me be clear that I am firmly opposed to abortion and deeply committed to protecting the inherent and equal dignity of every human being from conception to natural death.

Nonetheless, although it is a complex question, I do not believe that it is morally wrong to use vaccines (or other medical treatments) created using HEK 293 or other cell lines derived long ago from the tissue of aborted fetuses.

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Cell lines like HEK 293 are far removed from the unborn child from whose tissue they were initially derived. Such cell lines are “immortal,” meaning that, once developed, they continue to divide and reproduce themselves indefinitely. This means that the use of such lines does not necessarily create additional demand for new fetal tissue … READ MORE. 

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