AstraZeneca and the Aborted Fetal Tissue Question

Recently the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine was approved for use in the UK and is being widely distributed. This vaccine uses more traditional mechanisms than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and thus, the use of aborted fetal tissue is a concern. There was even a viral video of the packaging showing cell-lines as an ingredient. After which, many articles were written purporting to have “debunked” this claim.

However, now that the vaccine ingredients have been released to the public it is clear that there is still cellular debris from aborted fetal tissue in the vaccine (please see section 2 and the screenshot below).

Ingredients of the AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine
Ingredients of the AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine

HEK-293 cells were obtained in the 1970s from an aborted female fetus, of unspecified origin by Dr. Frank Graham. The name HEK293 was put on this cell line because it was Frank Graham’s 293rd experiment. Usually, they are used for testing food products, however, many manufacturers have used these cells to help in the creation of various COVID-19 vaccines.

There will likely be many claims that, although spike protein was produced on human embryonic kidney cells there are none of those cells left in the vaccine. Despite there being a purifying process, it is chemically impossible to remove all of the stems cells in their entirety.

Please note at the bottom of the image above states, “This product contains genetically modified organisms.” What are those genetically modified organisms, you may ask? The, “genetically modified human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells,”.

This problem is also easily seen in other vaccines that are now in use. For example, flu vaccines use chicken eggs to culture the flu virus in the same way that the CoV 2 Spike (S) glycoprotein was grown on the HEK-293 cells; and because all the egg protein/cells cannot be removed the manufactures must provide warnings, to those who are allergic to eggs, not to take the flu shot. Please see screenshots below taken from the FLUVIRIN insert.

Ingredients of the Flu Shot
Ingredients of the Flu Shot

Several Examples of Aborted Fetal Tissue Used in Approved Vaccines 

Another indication that this is true is that in the US, all cell-lines must be listed as an ingredient in the manufacturer’s vaccine insert. Please see several examples below:

Note: WI-38 is a human cell line from an aborted female fetus and MRC-5 is another human cell line, derived from an aborted 14-week old male fetus.

MMR Vaccine: 

Varicella (Chicken Pox) Vaccine:

Hepatitis A

There are plenty more I could attach here, but I think you get the point. Please also note that a few of these vaccines also use human albumin (see insert screenshots above). Albumin is basically plasma and serum, which is what is left of blood after you take away white and red blood cells. Here is an ingredient list from John’s Hopkin’s as well, showing MRC-5 as an ingredient in ProQuad.

Yes, the CDC also lists human cell lines and human albumin as ingredients.

Finally, here is the CDC’s list of other ingredients for all vaccines (referred to as an excipient list). On the very first page, it lists MRC-5 fetal cell lines as ingredients in the Hep A shot and each of the other cell lines in various other vaccines.

*Please note that the “non-viral protein” and “DNA” are listed as “human MRC-5 diploid fibroblasts,” in the Vaqta insert from the manufacturer.

CDC List of Ingredients Vaccines
CDC List of Ingredients Vaccines

Again, you can find all of these screenshots on the CDC website here.

There is no way to fully remove the debris from these cell lines, that is why they must be listed as an ingredient, period. Full stop.

How many total fetuses were used in the creation of these vaccines?

This is often the next question on people’s minds when learning about this issue. The standard answer, from those like Paul Offit (the creator of the rotavirus vaccine) and his colleagues, is two fetuses. One for the MRC-5 line and one for the WI-80. However, this is a severe under calculation and in all honesty an impossible skew of fact.

Although it is true that the fibroblasts that are used in the MRC-5 and WI-80 cell lines come from one fetus each, the fact missing here is that in order to get a viable fetus many fetuses were needed to be studied and tried. At least 99 abortions were required to create WI-80 and at least 5 were used to create MRC-5.  

Stanley Plotkin is a revered scientist and the creator of six of the vaccines we currently use in the US. During a deposition, he was questioned about this extensively under oath. He confirms what I have written here. It is fascinating to hear his perspective not only on this issue but many others. The entire nine-hour deposition is worth watching. Here is the full transcript for those interested.

As well, there are more than just 2 fetal lines used in vaccines. As you see above, the HEK-293 line is now being used in the AstraZeneca vaccine and PER.C6 has been used in past vaccines.

Though not used in the current US vaccine schedule as lines, RA 27/3, WI-26, WI-44, IMR-90, IMR-91, Lambda.hE1, and Walvax-2 are all human cell lines that required many fetuses to be made. Although it is difficult to know exactly how many total abortions were used to produce human cell lines, we know for certain that there have been over 500.

Many assert that these cell lines are old (most discovered in the 1960s and 1970s). While it is true that those being used in the current schedule are older, not all cell lines are “ancient.” Walvax-2 was developed in China in 2015 and the US congress petitioned that we remove laws surrounding the use of aborted fetal tissue in order to create more cell lines in 2020.

What does this mean for those injected?

Perhaps it does not ethically bother you that human fetuses and albumin are used in vaccines. You may be in favor of the use of fetuses for science. For those of you who do not feel comfortable with aborted fetus material in medical products the implications are obvious, however, regardless of your particular stance on that issue this information still affects you. There are many scientific consequences for using human DNA in vaccines that we do not yet understand.

To summarize a small portion of this problem, the body will reject foreign DNA from animals or worms or eggs, that are also used to create vaccines. However, because the aborted fetal cells being used are stem cells, the body may recognize these cells as their own and readily absorb them  

We know this because of current stem cell therapies. The body takes up those cells and can help rejuvenate the body. However, by definition stem cells also endlessly multiply and are therefore tumorigenic (capable of causing tumors).

When used in stem cell therapies the stem cells can often be taken from older adults or your own body and are more mature. However, when used in an endlessly replicating cell line (and especially these old lines), coming from an aborted fetus these cells have a much higher chance of becoming cancerous.

FDA Concern Over Potential Tumorigenic Effects of Fetal DNA in Vaccines

The FDA has been concerned about this for a very long time. (Please download the document to see the full source.)

Let me walk you through one of the most recent meetings about this subject the FDA convened on September 19, 2012. (Again please see the source above, where each of these quotes comes from.)

The FDA starts with some “background” (bold added for emphasis):

“DNA Oncogenicity, DNA Infectivity, and DNA Integration Small amounts of residual cell-substrate DNA unavoidably occur in all viral vaccines as well as other biologics produced using cell substrates.”

“There are several potential ways DNA could be a risk factor. DNA can be oncogenic or infectious; in addition, it can cause insertion mutagenesis through integration into the host genome. DNA oncogenicity [is] a major concern about residual cell-substrate. DNA has been the potential for the induction of cancer, particularly if the DNA was from a tumorigenic cell or from a cell line established from a human cancer.”

“It is the potential presence of such activated dominant oncogenes in the genomes of certain cell substrates, such as continuous cell lines and tumorigenic cells, that has raised concern over residual DNA in vaccines prepared using such cell substrates, since complete removal of DNA from vaccines is not possible. Therefore, the issue has been whether the low levels of residual cell-substrate DNA in vaccines could be a risk factor in recipients of these vaccines. This issue has been debated over many years with the conclusion that residual DNA amount and size should be controlled.

So, as I have stated above, the problem with these particles is not just a moral issue. The more of this DNA that is injected, the more likely it is that oncogenic (cancerous), mutagenic (capable of causing mutation), and other toxic effects could appear.

The FDA ends this document with its current recommendation. The way to control these effects is to lower the amount of this DNA that is injected into the body:

“Although current testing recommendations include evaluation of the oncogenicity of host cell DNA and cell lysates in vivo, the oncogenic and infectious risk of DNA is primarily addressed by lowering the amount of DNA, decreasing the size of the DNA (by nuclease digestion), and/or by reducing the activity of the DNA (by chemical treatment or gamma irradiation).”

How Much DNA is in Vaccines?

But, how much DNA is being injected into our bodies? It is very difficult to know because none of the package inserts, nor the CDC excipient list, specify the exact amount. According to this same briefing, it is supposed to be under 10 ng per dose. However, there is evidence that there is more than 300 ng of DNA in vaccine doses using the MRC-5 vaccine.

An independent Italian research group called Corvelva has confirmed these results. This independent research group analyzed the contents of vaccine vials on the market with concerning results. The results of their first tests have passed peer review and have been published. Their first stunning announcement was:

“The first major issue that we found ourselves having to investigate was the abnormal amount of human DNA found in the vaccines analyzed.”

I think many forget that the process of manufacturing vaccines or any biological material can be extremely difficult. Mistakes are made and old processes are difficult to abandon. As stated above, it is impossible to completely remove this DNA from a vaccine, and I am sure it is equally as difficult to get the amount of DNA left in the vaccine down to the required <10 ng.

Vaccine lots differ and quality differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, but it is obvious that there are more DNA fragments than there are meant to be. This should be a concern to all of us with a growing vaccine schedule, a new vaccine created from aborted fetal tissue that many are anxious to receive, and over 200 new vaccines in the pipeline. We all have to be more alert about what, and how much, we decide to take into our bodies.

To find out more about the AstraZeneca vaccine and other Covid Vaccines, check out our guide Everything You Need to Know About the Covid Vaccine.

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