Can Catholics Receive Vaccines That Used A Foetal Cell Line?

We have been hearing the good news that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has shown over 90% efficacy in trials. Unlike some other vaccine candidates including the Oxford AstraZeneca candidate – this vaccine did not use a foetal cell-line in either its design or its production. Reports of the use of foetal cell-lines at some stage for some vaccines have sparked concern for Catholics and other opponents of abortion.

But what is a foetal cell-line, exactly? Is it ever admissible for Catholics to receive a vaccine which has employed one? How can we approach these moral questions in the context of a global pandemic?

To explore these issues and more, Michael Wee interviewed the Anscombe Bioethics Centre’s Senior Research Fellow, Dr Helen Watt. To find out more, you can read Dr Watt’s briefing paper, here.

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