Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Vaccines, Part Deux

After taking a breath and trying to become reasonable about this, I did some research and have learned a few things. Here is what I am learning.

- In the 1970's they used an aborted baby from a family, who supposedly aborted the baby because they had too many children, to develop a cell line culture for the chicken pox virus vaccine line, and in the '60's, aborted babies from women who had been exposed to rubella. From my reading the cell line of the aborted babies are what have been used since they were aborted 40 or so years ago. They say that using human cell lines are safer than using animal cell lines (such as monkey livers and the like). A lot of this information I found here. I have tried to verify some of the information by looking at the NVPO website. I searched for the terms "abort" and "aborted" but didn't find anything related to using aborted fetal tissue for vaccines.

- This is an interesting list of drugs and vaccines that are developed on aborted fetal tissue and some alternatives to use that are not. There is no alternative for the chicken pox vaccine. Their entire website is dedicated to "pro-life outreach" and their major research project right now is this whole aborted fetal tissue issue. I plan to spend more time looking at their website and what they have learned at time allows.

- I found this quote yesterday on Vaccine Truth: "...a number of vaccines are grown on human cells from aborted fetuses. The new chicken pox vaccine made by Merck Frosst Pharmaceuticals is grown on the MRC-5 cell line derived from the normal lung tissue of a 14-week-old male fetus aborted "for psychiatric reasons." So are the polio and hepatitis A vaccines. The rubella virus in the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) three-in-one shot is grown on the WI-38 cell line-developed in 1961 from an aborted three-month-old female fetus." This tells me that it seems whole lots of aborted babies are not being bought, but one was used - each for the MMR and Varivax - and is still being used to make vast amounts of vaccines. Since I don't know how vaccines are developed and what their characteristics are this is only an assumption. Vaccine Truth is a website that is highly on the "DO NOT VACCINATE" side of the argument so any information found there I feel, must be taken with a grain of salt, but I think it's irresponsible to totally discount the veracity of what they are saying because one believes they are wacky.

- From the CDC website: "Does MMR vaccine contain fetal or embryonic tissue? If so, what kind?"

"The rubella vaccine virus is cultured in human cell-line cultures, and some of these cell lines originated from aborted fetal tissue, obtained from legal abortions in the 1960's. No new fetal tissue is needed to produce cell lines to make these vaccines, now or in the future. Fetal tissue is not used to produce vaccines; cell lines generated from a single fetal tissue source are used; vaccine manufacturers obtain human cell lines from FDA-certified cell banks. After processing, very little, if any, of that tissue remains in the vaccine."

The CDC site also has this.

- And then I found this at Free Republic, but I think they quoted it from CoG.

For over thirty years pharmaceutical companies in this country have been producing vaccines derived from tissues of aborted fetuses, a fact that was brought to light when several prominent Catholic newspapers published articles on the morality of using the vaccines. The trouble began when a new law in St. Louis County, Mo. required food handlers to obtain the Hepatitis-A vaccine for employment. When the source of the vaccine was revealed, many principled individuals objected and with good reason. As this information has become public, more and more physicians and parents are troubled by the ethical issues involved.

During the Rubella epidemic of 1964, some doctors advised exposed pregnant women to abort their children. The resulting virus strain developed was known in the science world as RA/27/3, where R=Rubella, A=Abortus, 27=27th fetus tested, 3=third tissue explant. There were actually 26 abortions prior to finding the right “species” with the active virus. The vaccine was then cultivated on the lung tissue of yet another aborted infant, WI-38. WI-38 (Wistar Institute 38) was taken from the lung tissue of an aborted female infant at 3 months gestation in the 1960s. A second human cell line, MRC-5 was derived from a male at 14 weeks gestation in the 1970s. They were used to cultivate the weakened virus strains of several diseases to produce immunizations. These two human cell lines cultivated in the lab continue to provide an ongoing source for many widely used vaccines.

- I thought this was good information. He is the NatruoDoc.

In the end, there is a lot of information to be had out there about this. I'd like to study how the vaccines are developed and what the role is, in it's entirety, of aborted fetal tissue in the making of vaccines. I am still trouble by this, but have not come to any sort of decision about whether to vaccinate or not. I'll share this information with Del and see what my Aunt Janet (who is a doctor) says and what my Aunt Diana says and we'll go from there. Sorry to trouble you with my horror.


Marie said...

That's interesting. I never wondered how the vaccines were developed and it's a bit sad to learn it comes from aborted babies. However, I'm not sure that I'm so disturbed by this that I'd consider not using the vaccines. The abortions didn't happen due to the need for vaccines. Also, what would have happened had there been no vaccines developed at all? Many more children then those poor aborted babies would surely have died from the diseases. I'd be interested to learn more about the devastation of the diseases before the vaccines were produced.

Johanna said...

That is all really good information to look at. I don't know how I feel about the original source for the growth medium being aborted fetal tissue, but I am comforted to know that no new tissue is being procured to continue to produce the vaccines. I looked at the list of vaccines and ethical alternatives and on some of them, I recognized that my doctor used many of the ethical alternatives. It would be interesting to hear his views on this since he is a family friend, a christian, and a member of our church.

Joanna said...

I agree, that there is comfort in knowing about the alternative vaccines. I'm not sure which my doctor uses, but I am sure that she is not a Christian; I do wonder how that affects which vaccines they use.

If women were encouraged to abort their babies because they had been exposed to rubella, then those abortions occured to develop a vaccine. So they tested 26 aborted babies of women who had simply been exposed to the disease before they found #27 to actually have the virus. That means 26 healthy babies were aborted "just in case" they had rubella. I have a problem with that. It's not like they exposed an already aborted baby to the rubella virus and developed a vaccine from that. They found women with live babies, who had been exposed to the rubella virus and encouraged them to abort, so that they could have the bodies to do research on. ICK!

You're right, lots of children have been saved from the rubella virus because 27 babies gave their lives to develop a vaccine. I'm just not convinced that their lives were worth less than my own children. I'm sure God doesn't see it that way. Would you give up Caleb to "research" so that lots of other kids could be spared the threat of rubella? Especially when there are other ways to cultivate the virus. Just because their parents didn't love them enough to give them a chance at life, doesn't mean their lives were worthless or not worthy of love. One good does not validate moral depravity.

As you can tell, I'm very bothered by this.

Marie said...

I'm sorry. I didn't read your post very well.

Lawanda said...

I admit it bothers me about vaccines. But I will also admit that most of them, I would get anyway, because I have #1 seen the results of polio firsthand, and #2 seen the results of whooping cough and tetanus(DPT vaccine) first hand.

I did hate to learn about their ingredients, and I think my friend Anne, has the best idea ever. She is scheduling her babies vaccines on her own schedule, and also is refusing some of them.

I wish I had the moxy to take control like that. But I think if I ever have another baby, knowing what I know now, I will be more likely to refuse some of them. And get them when I decide, instead of when the doctors decide.

Mrs. Amy Brigham said...

Information like this always leaves me with many questions rolling around in my head, and much of it is info I am weary to trust--both the government and anti-vaxxers have their agenda after all (and I say that as a non-vaxxer at this point ;o)). I do not say this to be argumentative (far from it :o)), Joanna, but just to throw it out there to see if somebody (anybody) might have some answers. Like I said in my comment yesterday, I could be very wrong about these questions, but have yet to come across any compelling information to satisfy my curiosities, so I am too hesitant to jump on the heart jerk reaction that comes from the loaded words "aborted baby" just yet.

I hope you do not mind me sharing these questions. Y'all lovely ladies seem like such deep critical thinkers, so I hope y'all might be willing to share you perspectives.

*It was only very recently that the term "miscarriage" began to be used by medical professionals, and even now the former term "spontaneous abortion" is what is used on medical charts and insurance billing codes. So, any tissue that came from an "aborted" dead baby may not necessarily have come from an aborted *live* baby. (Rubella, for instance, frequently causes miscarriage and stillbirths just from exposure.)

*What sort of D&C caused the "abortion?" In many instances both types of D&C that are used to end a pregnancy are refereed to as a "termination of pregnancy" for chart & insurance purposes. When live babies are murdered via a termination, the procedure is technically called an "elective termination" (hence why "abortion" wouldn't be too likely to come up in a search on Medlines or another database (which do have intriguing studies with anti/delayed-vax conclusions.)

*How do we know where the human cells come from exactly? In the 1960s and early 70s abortion was illegal in most parts of the United States. I have heard that the cells supposedly came from Sweden, sans any citation, but even still, this begs the question of how we know exactly who the child was and for what reason they were killed. I've tried to find information about patient privacy rights in Sweden during this time period, but never have been able to.

The lack of citation and proper medical terminology is what bothers me the most about pretty much all explanations of where the diploid cells have come from. From actual live abortions could be a possibly, yes, but without compelling information, I personally find it a bit scary that others (and I do NOT mean you, my friend!! :o)) encourage parents and parents-to-be to make a decision they might not necessarily have made without the loaded language and with well-researched and proven fact. The thought of aborted babies being used to procure vaccines certainly tugs at my heart strings and makes me want to make a very knee jerk reaction, but the logical/intellectual side of me (and, well, Sean) would scream to my heart to research, research, research to make sure the info I have come across is correct. (And if it is, I would pass it on to pretty much everybody I know!) Sadly, I seem not to be able find any compelling answers to my questions & concerns. :o(

Ack, sorry about the novel I wrote! I'm a comment hog ;o)

Joanna said...

Amy - I posted this question on my blog to get answers, so books in the comments are more than welcome.

I don't want to have a knee-jerk reaction either. Considering that most of the information you can find about it is, like you said, from people that don't vaccinate anyway, it's hard to believe what they've got on their websites, especially when links they have there are dead or quotes cannot be verified, etc. But there's no way that I believe pharmaceutical companies aren't out there to make a profit. Maybe Pasteur was a godly man trying to make life better for fellow man, but he is dead, God rest his soul, and the drug companies are in it for the money, baby, so I trust them about as far as I can throw them, which ain't very far. I have read too much language in things like birth control that is so convoluted that unless you have a medical degree, you have no idea what it is you are about to swallow or get injected.

I have read on several websites that the aborted baby for the Varivax vaccine came from an aborted baby boy, who was 14 weeks old and healthy...from Sweden. The parents are said to have had too many kids...but this is hearsay at this point.

I don't know what to believe. Especially as the CDC says that yes, they do use actual aborted baby tissue to develop the vaccine, but with all the processing there is no actual fetal tissue in the vaccine. That still doesn't satisfy my questions as to why they felt they must use an aborted baby to develop the vaccine.

I think you bring up a lot of good points, Amy. They are all worth pondering and I am having just as hard a time coming up with answers. I am pinning my hopes on Granny's daughter shedding some light on it all. Until she has time to do that though, it's back to the search engine.

Kristen & Dave said...

Oh no! Granny's daughter is late to the party! Nice to find your blog, and thanks for the thoughtful posts. I have to say that regardless of final decisions, I so appreciate parents taking these issues seriously, and not just swallowing what the government/doctor/friend/teacher might tell them. All that said, most of the research you have done is what I have done, though mostly after I had my first baby, and was scared to death of making the "wrong" decision about vaccines. I read everything from the CDC's stuff to the conspiracy theorists, and everything in between. Lots of the ingredients of some vaccines made me queasy, as did side-effects reports (including kids of personal friends). But in the end my choices hinged on morality. Several mainstream vaccines (Rubella, Hep A, and varicella) were most definitely cultured w/ aborted fetal tissue. These were not "miscarriages", but intentional murder, nothing less. Now the point can be made that they would have been murdered anyway, regardless of the vaccine, and that may be true. But I do not discount the possibility that a woman considering an abortion was enticed to contribute to the "greater good", though of course that is speculation. Even without that chilling thought, after months of wrestling/praying I realized (along w/ hubby's nod) that I could not willingly give my child the benefit of a potential protection born out of a definite, intentional horror. The personal implications for our family were too much to sweep aside, and so we refuse those vaccines. To be sure, this is a tough issue, and grace needs to be given in as great a measure as we hope to receive from others. Along w/ that, I also delay all vaccines until about 9 months, and do not allow more than 2 shots at any time (which makes me eminently popular w/ doctors), to not overload their immature immune systems w/ more than they can handle, as well as isolate any potential side effects more easily.

So...don't have anything more intelligent or thoughtful to add than you and readers have already said. But there are my thoughts, and I hope you can make decisions that you and your husband feel are wise and informed. You sound like you are doing a great job researching, but let me know if you have any questions about what I've said. I'll definitely be popping back in!

Joanna said...

I am intrigued with the idea of delayed vaccination. Having all four of my babies born in a hospital, I know that about 15 minutes after they're born, they give them shots already. Hmmm...

Lily recently had chicken pox and I was happy for her to have them at 5 months old because they were so mild and I thought she'd be developing immunity, without having to have a shot. Then I was told by the doctor that her immune system is too immature to be developing antibodies and she'd need to get the chicken pox shot anyway. Talk about insult to injury. But this has me thinking. Why are they giving shots to babies if their immune systems are too immature to be building any immunity? Is this why they have to give them so many doses in in just the first year?

What sort of immunization schedule do you use?

Kristen & Dave said...

I just now saw this question, and not sure if it was directed at me, but I'll answer anyway ;-) First of all, what doctors don't like to say is that the varicella vaccine only carries a 40-60% immunity rate. and your daughter, even at 5 months, has a higher immunity "chance" from having had the disease. Giving a child the vaccine after the disease itself is the worst kind of abuse of the vaccine intention. Ok, so as far as schedule...I do not allow any shots until approx. 9 months. I have my babies at home, so no fear of shots given, but w/ my first 2 born in hospital, I had a very specific birth plan that forbid any shots, and I had the hospital sign off on it ahead of time. Every parent should do this!!! Newborns with normal health have no business receiving injections!!! When I do go in for shots (after my long lecture from doctors) I let them know the ones that I refuse, which so far are MMR, Hep A, Varicella (or combo), and any "flavor-of-the-month" type vaccine that does not have years of track record yet. So then I allow 1 or 2 shots, depending on the type and if it is a combo (like DTaP). Of course this takes longer, and they are "behind" according to the charts, but I don't care about charts. So usually mine aren't "caught up" with the shots we allow until 18 month or so, depending on illnesses (when I won't allow shots). The main thing is to try and find a doctor who understands that parents are boss, and is willing to work with your desires. Interviews ahead of actual visits are really helpful.