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Anthony Fisher has sparked outrage after suggesting the COVID-19 vaccine could create an “ethical dilemma” for Catholics who may refuse to take it because it uses a cell line from an aborted foetus in the 1970s.

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Since the 1960s, cell lines from aborted foetuses have been used to manufacture vaccines, including current vaccines against rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis A, and shingles to treat haemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis, and cystic fibrosis.

At least five of the candidate COVID-19 vaccines being trialled on humans use around the world use one of two human foetal cell lines: HEK-293, a kidney cell line widely used in research that comes from a foetus aborted in about 1972; and another cell line known as PER. C6.



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