At a glance
- Claim: Those who are pro-life shouldn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Rating: MISSING CONTEXT
- The facts: The Catholic Church finds no objections in their members getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Pope Francis, who is fully vaccinated, has endorsed the need for vaccinations and has spoken against misinformation on vaccination.
- Why we fact-checked this: A Facebook post with this claim has over 1,300 views and the same video on Youtube has over 15,000 views.
A video on Facebook and Youtube has been posted containing the claim that those who are pro-life should not support the COVID-19 vaccine as fetal cell lines were used in their development and testing phases.
This claim is missing context.
The video argues that we should not use these vaccines because of the use of fetal cell lines in their development and testing. The fetal cell lines used were HEK-293 and PER.C6. HEK-293 is a kidney cell line from an elective abortion in 1972; PER.C6 is a retinal cell line from an elective abortion in 1985.
Although animal cell lines exist, human cell lines are important in ensuring that an effective immune response is produced, ensuring that the vaccines work. These cell lines are from long-over abortions and are widely used in research.
It is important to note that the fetal cell lines are not present in any of the COVID-19 vaccines and were only used in the development and testing phases.
Cutting through the largely symbolic gesture of the refusal of the COVID-19 vaccine on the grounds that cell lines from elective abortions were used, the Catholic Church has deemed that the faithful can get vaccinated with a “clean conscience” as there are no alternatives that do not use these cell lines. In addition, the Pontifical Academy for Life has stated that the vaccines do not signify cooperation with voluntary abortions.
Pope Francis, who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, has echoed his support on the need for vaccination. He has also commented on the misinformation on the vaccines as: “[frequently], people let themselves be influenced by the ideology of the moment, often bolstered by baseless information or poorly documented facts… [which sever] the bond of human reason with the objective reality of things.” – Renzo Arceta/Rappler.com
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