It was brought to my attention not too long ago, that some vaccines are created using fetal cells harvested from aborted babies. This was quite a surprise and I was not sure whether to believe this was actually occurring or not. When I talked with my family doctor about it, he simply said that many people would be surprised at some of the things pharmaceutical companies do in the production of drugs or vaccines. (He was not very helpful in putting my mind at ease!) It took me several months to find out any concrete data about this, but on Tuesday, I came across a discussion in the Faith and Family blog about the ethics of using these vaccines. Ah Ha! I was quick to investigate an article about where the Vatican stands on vaccines. I also found the link to a list of vaccines made using aborted fetal cell lines and possible ethical alternatives to be very helpful.
Armed with this information, I went to my 4 month old's well-baby checkup yesterday. We have a wonderful family physician and he has a brilliant nurse who is in charge of all the vaccinations and records. She really is super good and very sweet. Therefore, I talked with her about the vaccinations and my concerns. I had printed out the list of 'bad' vaccines and their 'ethical alternatives'. (She did not know that some vaccines are made using aborted fetal cells.)
Now I am a firm believer in vaccinations. I believe we have fewer childhood diseases and fewer child deaths because of our vaccination program here in the States. I know that very bad reactions can and do occur in a very small percent of babies and children, and if your baby is in that small percent it is so devastating! I can only imagine! However, compared with the devastation of these diseases prior to vaccines, I am willing to take that risk, and have done so with all of my children. I agree with the Vatican article that vaccines are important in "protecting the whole population and avoiding death and malformation." Having said that, I also believe that vaccines (and anything) should not be made using aborted fetuses.
My goal in speaking with our nurse was to see, first which vaccines, manufactured by which company, we were receiving and second, if any of the 'ethical alternatives' were available. I was going to get the vaccinations, but I was hoping to get the alternatives.
The results of my investigation... She was due for two shots, one was made ethically (not using a fetal cell line), the other was made using an aborted fetal cell line. We discussed the alternative vaccines, but because of the combination, were unable to use the alternative, however next time she will be able to have the alternative.
Unfortunately, there is not always an ethical alternative available for prolife parents who want to have their children vaccinated. I will continue to have my children vaccinated, preferably with a vaccine manufactured without the use of aborted fetal cells. Perhaps by spreading the word and even contacting vaccine manufacturing companies, better alternatives will become available.
What do you think?
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