Vatican Deters Use of "Tainted" Vaccines

Can Be Used In Absence of Choice

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ROME, JULY 26, 2005 (Zenit.org).- It is not licit to use vaccines produced from cells derived from aborted fetuses, says the Vatican, but they may be used in situations when an alternative is not available.

The Vatican’s position was expressed in a document recently published in the «Medicine and Morality» review of the Bioethics Center of the Catholic University of Rome.

The Pontifical Academy for Life conducted the study in response to «a precise question posed by some pro-life associations of the United States faced with this problem,» explained Bishop Elio Sgreccia, president of the academy, on Saturday to Vatican Radio.

The bishop explained that «in the United States they still use a vaccine made with cells from aborted human fetuses.»

«There was collaboration between those who made the vaccine and those who practiced abortion,» said the bishop, and «this is the point that has triggered the opposition of the pro-life movements.»

Responding to the request of Debra Vinnedge, executive director of Children of God for Life, the academy «proceeded to a careful examination of the question of these ‘tainted’ vaccines, and has produced as a result a study,» the bishop wrote to in a letter when presenting the study.

Only option

In this context, «the opposition of the parents to the vaccination in the schools clashes as much with the state dispositions as it does with the good of the children, who in that specific geographic ambit, have no other vaccines they can use,» he stated.

If the children are not vaccinated, «not only are they exposed but, in addition, a child who is infected and not vaccinated, even if he doesn’t have symptoms, can infect others,» he said.

Therefore, «on one hand there is the need to vaccinate the children, and on the other a vaccine is issued in those areas of the United States which was produced some 20 years ago using aborted fetuses,» he indicated.

In face of this situation, the Pontifical Academy for Life offers a double response in its document.

On one hand, «it is licit to use these vaccines in the precise context of the United States, because there are no other vaccines available at this time,» the bishop continued on Vatican Radio.

Not responsible

«On the other hand,» said the bishop, «‘collaboration’ with abortion occurred at a distance of time and place, in regard to the first cells obtained, which were later multiplied and disseminated.»

In this connection, those who now use the vaccination, «the doctors who administer it, the children who receive it,» are in no way are engaging in «culpable collaboration.»

They are not at all responsible «for the abortion practiced on that occasion. In those places, at this time, it is licit to administer the vaccination, what is more, it is necessary because the children need it,» he stated.

«The second answer is that the state … must require that the industries that produce the vaccines not use fetuses,» especially those aborted, «because today, with the progress in science, effective vaccines can be properly produced, as happens in Europe, using animal cells,» added Bishop Sgreccia.

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