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Fetal cells

Do vaccines contain cells from aborted fetuses?

No. Vaccines do not contain human cells or tissue. During purification of the vaccine all cells are removed. Human cell lines are used in the early stages of production of some vaccines* because viruses need a living cell to grow. The virus for the vaccine is grown in a human cell line, then killed or damaged so it cannot cause disease. This cell line comes from legal abortions in the early 1960s and continues today from the original source. The abortions were not conducted for the purpose of vaccine discovery or vaccine production. No new fetal tissue is required in the ongoing production of vaccines because cell lines can reproduce themselves in culture and can be used for a very long time.

(*MMR, varicella, hepatitis A, rabies, Quadracel and TdP)

Vatican documents confirm that “In the absence of effective alternatives, individuals may use the morally tainted vaccines,” and assert that it is necessary to “provide for the good of one’s children,” including the prevention of disease where possible.


Canadian Paediatric Society. Your Child’s Best Shot (4th edition) (external link)

Catholic News Service (external link)

Pontifical Academy for Life. (2005.) Moral reflections on vaccines prepared from cells derived from aborted human foetuses (external link)