Catholic bishop in Fresno, CA, has discouraged Catholics from taking COVID-19 vaccines right away, saying, “I won’t be able to take a vaccine, brothers and sisters, and I encourage you not to, if it was developed with material from stem cells from a baby that was aborted or material that was cast off from artificial insemination.”
A video that was circulated on Facebook by an anti-vaccination group claims that the vaccines in development by Oxford University and AstraZeneca contain material from an aborted fetus.
The vaccines currently being developed for COVID-19 don’t contain material from aborted fetuses. The cell lines used to grow the virus used to make the vaccine are from clones of cells, not original fetal tissue. These sorts of cell lines have been used widely in major advances in medicine, such as vaccines for hepatitis, chicken pox, and measles.
As doctors, we encourage all Americans who are medically able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 once a vaccine is authorized by the FDA. At that point, the vaccine will have been through rigorous processes to ensure it is safe, effective, and of high quality.