Religion in Society

Christians Hail New Stem Cell Free Swine Flu Vaccine

| by

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Children of God for Life announced today that a new swine flu vaccine produced by Swiss-based pharmaceutical giant, Novartis, is made using ethical cell lines. The vaccine, which was hailed last week by the Associated Press as the first to be produced in cell culture rather than the traditional chick embryo method, uses MDCK (Madin-Darby Canine Kidney) cells.

Novartis said that over 30 countries have requested their vaccine supply, including the US Department of HHS who placed a $289 million dollar order with the company last month.

"This is great news for families worldwide," stated Debi Vinnedge, Children of God for Life's Executive Director. "Other companies such as Sanofi Pasteur and Medimmune are using aborted fetal cell line PER C6 as their cell culture. Concerned families who may not have otherwise used the swine flu vaccine will now have a moral choice!"

While chick embryo is still an option for manufacturing, cell culture is more desirable since it would speed production time for the vaccines considerably. The news release by Novartis last week came only days after the World Health Organization had declared a swine flu pandemic.

Vinnedge noted that there are other companies not far behind Novartis that are also using moral sources for their cell cultures. Novavax is using insect cell lines, Baxter is using Vero cell lines and Protein Science is using caterpillar cell lines.

"There is simply no reason to use aborted fetal cell lines," Vinnedge noted. "We are deeply grateful that Novartis technology is the frontrunner!"

"And it's high time that some of these other pharmaceutical companies start listening to the public demand," she added.