Tag: MRC-5

Is MRC-5 the Name of an Electively Aborted Baby Boy?

Why do anti-vax folks think that MRC-5 is the name of an electively aborted baby boy who is an ingredient in vaccines?

MRC-5 is the name of a cell line that is used to make some vaccines.
Since many think that we have a “moral obligation to protect the life and health” of our children and those around us, what does that make those folks who use propaganda to scare parents away from getting their kids vaccinated and protected.

Of course…

Is MRC-5 the Name of an Electively Aborted Baby Boy?

So what’s the real story?

MRC-5 is a line of human diploid cells that are used to make some vaccines.

“The second human cell line is MRC-5 (Medical Research Council 5) (human, lung, embryonic) (ATCC number CCL-171), with human lung fibroblasts coming from a 14 week male foetus aborted for “psychiatric reasons” from a 27 year old woman in the UK. MRC-5 was prepared and developed by J.P. Jacobs in 1966 (J.P. Jacobs et al, 1970).”

Vatican Statement on Vaccines Derived From Aborted Human Fetuses

And despite what the sign implies, vaccines do not contain aborted fetal tissue or fetal parts.

The original MRC-5 cells aren’t even involved in making vaccines anymore. The cells used today have been copied, over and over again.

They are descendant cells, which is why a common way to explain all of this is to say that vaccines are said to have a “distant association with abortion.”

“It should be obvious that vaccine use in these cases does not contribute directly to the practice of abortion since the reasons for having an abortion are not related to vaccine preparation.”

The Question of Parental Rights and Mandated Vaccinations

And even then, the cells are removed before the final vaccine is produced.

“Many Catholic experts concur that cooperation today is not really possible in an event that was over and done with many years ago. Because the abortion occurred long ago, and for reasons completely unrelated to vaccines, it is untenable to conclude that vaccine recipients today somehow cooperate in the original abortive event.”

The Morality of Vaccinating Our Children

So what about MRC-5 cells is keeping you from vaccinating and protecting your kids?

Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are obviously necessary, preventing millions of deaths each year.

Don’t let someone holding an anti-vax sign to scare you away from making the right choice to vaccinate and protect your family.

More on MRC-5

Is the CDC Hiding MMR Excipients?

Have you heard the latest conspiracy theory – that the CDC is hiding MMR excipients? Depending on who you are supposed to believe, “they” recently removed either WI-38 or MRC-5 DNA and Cellular Protein from the MMR II excipient list.

I wonder why Ashley Everly and Hillary Simpson didn’t look at the 2012 list of excipients and ingredients

Is it true?

Is there a conspiracy at CDC to hide vaccine ingredients?

Is the CDC Hiding MMR Excipients?

Of course not!

Where were the WI-38 cells in the 2007 excipient list?

As most folks should know by now, it is hard to change and hide stuff on the Internet, as nearly all pages are archived.

What does that mean?

You can easily look up and see how a page looked yesterday, last week, last month, or last year. Or in the case of the CDC Vaccine Excipient and Media list, over 12 years ago!

And guess what?

MRC-5 cells were never on the MMR list because the MMR vaccine isn’t made with MRC-5 cells!

The MMR vaccine is made with chick embryo fibroblasts and WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts, but since neither remain in the final vaccine, they aren’t on the latest excipient list. They can still be found in vaccine’s package insert.

Substances used in the manufacture of a vaccine but not actually listed as contained in the final vaccine can be found in the package insert for the vaccine, but are no longer shown on the excipient table.

This change to the excipient list was made in 2019.

Why the change?

Probably because this more accurately reflects what’s in the vaccine! Remember, many of the things that are used to make a vaccine get filtered out along the way.

Interestingly, while chick embryo fibroblasts were on the original excipient list, in 2007, WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts weren’t.

From 2012 to 2019, the excipient list did include substances that were removed from the final vaccine.

They were briefly added, but then both were removed with the change to the excipient list in 2019.

And that’s why anti-vax folks think that there is some conspiracy to hide them.

A conspiracy to hide these excipients that explains that why excipients are not included on the list and not only tells you where to find them, in the vaccine’s package insert, but also includes a link to find them?

The vaccine package insert still lists excipients that might not remain the final vaccine and aren’t on the excipient list.

Have anti-vax folks run out of things to be scared of?

Still think that there is a conspiracy to hide excipients?

Consider that the Vaccine excipient table at the Institute of Vaccine Safety, maintained since 2006, has never listed WI-38 cells…

More on Anti-Vax Conspiracy Theories

It’s Just More Anti-Vaccine Misinformation

Vocal vaccine deniers don’t like to get called out for pushing anti-vaccine misinformation.

They like to think they are giving folks ‘more information.’

More anti-vaccine misinformation from the usual suspects.
Nope. It’s just more misinformation about vaccines to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.

In reality, it’s just more misinformation about vaccines…

It’s Just More Anti-Vaccine Misinformation

It’s not even just Bob doing it anymore.

Larry Cook stuffed all of the basic components of anti-vaccine propaganda into one little comment.
Larry Cook stuffed all of the basic components of anti-vaccine propaganda into one little comment.

That’s a lot of misinformation stuffed into one comment…

Got something else?

Yup. Measles. A lot of measles.

A week-long rash that is accompanied by a high fever, cough, and irritability. A week-long rash that can sometimes lead to encephalitis and even death.

A week-long rash that is easily prevented with two doses of the MMR vaccine, which doesn’t shed, rarely causes vaccine-associated measles (38%???), and rarely causes serious side effects.

A life-threatening disease that your kids might unnecessarily be at risk to get because you are listening to these folks who don’t think that vaccines are ever necessary or ever work.

Larry Cook thinks that he knows the real truth about vaccines.

Is that what you believe?

Del Spreads Misinformation

And there are still others spreading misinformation.

“I know that a lot of people read, ‘Oh, Del spreads misinformation,’” he said. “That’s an opinion. I like to call it missed information. This is the information that the mainstream media establishment doesn’t want you to hear.”

I attended an Orthodox anti-vaccine rally. Here’s what I saw.

So what’s some of the “missed information” that Del Bigtree is spreading?

“Over the course of about 12 minutes, Bigtree linked vaccines to the Holocaust and then to child sacrifice. He compared them to Nazi experimentation on unwilling Jewish medical subjects, then to the intentional ritual murder of children, in an effort to debunk the scientific consensus that a critical mass of vaccinated people, or herd immunity, means that even those who cannot be vaccinated for genuine medical reasons will have some protection from getting sick.”

I attended an Orthodox anti-vaccine rally. Here’s what I saw.

While it isn’t surprising that someone like Del Bigtree would say these things, that he would do it at an anti-vaccine rally in the middle of the biggest measles outbreak in 27 years in New York is unbelievable.

More Misinformation from Bob Sears

Want to hear the latest misinformation from Bob Sears?

Where in the package insert does it say that there are very small pieces of fetal tissue in the hepatitis A or chickenpox vaccines???
Where in the package insert does it say that there are very small pieces of fetal tissue in the hepatitis A or chickenpox vaccines???

The guy who brought us his own made up vaccine schedule is claiming that there are “physical pieces of fetal tissue” in vaccines.

Bob Sears usually bans people who correct his misinformation. Let's see how long this comment lasts on his Facebook page...
Bob Sears usually bans people who correct his misinformation. Let’s see how long this comment lasts on his Facebook page…

There aren’t.

Yes, some vaccines are made with fetal embryo fibroblast cells from cell lines that were derived (they can replicate infinitely) from two electively terminated pregnancies in the 1960s.

That certainly does not mean that any vaccines contain aborted fetal tissue though.

The cells used today have been copied, over and over again. They are descendant cells, which is why a common way to explain all of this is to say that vaccines are said to have a “distant association with abortion.”

Missed Information About Vaccines

Not only do vaccines not contain aborted fetal tissue, the fetal embryo fibroblast cells that are used to grow the viruses in these vaccines are mostly removed from the final vaccine our kids get!

“Some vaccines may contain residual quantities of components used during the manufacturing process, including inactivating agents, antibiotics, and cellular residuals. These agents are removed at the end of the manufacturing process, but trace amounts may be present in some vaccines.”

NIH on Other Vaccine Ingredients

If any of the fetal embryo fibroblast cells are present, it is only in trace amounts and as cellular residuals, not even as complete cells.

When used, WI-38 and MRC-5 cells are not necessarily listed in the excipient summary if they are not contained in the final vaccine, but they are still listed in the vaccine's package insert.
When used, WI-38 and MRC-5 cells are not necessarily listed in the excipient summary if they are not contained in the final vaccine, but they are still listed in the vaccine’s package insert.

Anti-vaccine folks don’t usually tell you that…

What ever they now want to call the anti-vaccine misinformation they are pushing to folks, just understand that it is all the same propaganda that is designed to scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids.

More on Anti-Vaccine Misinformation

About those Stanley Plotkin Videos…

Stanley Plotkin is typically described as “a prominent figure in the history of vaccinology, whose work on vaccine development has led to a significant reduction in morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases in the second part of 20th century. “

Why?

For one thing, he developed the rubella vaccine that we still use today.

He also worked on vaccines against CMV, polio, chicken pox, rabies, and rotavirus.

What Did Stanley Plotkin Say While He Was Under Oath?

That’s not why anti-vaccine folks are talking about him these days, or maybe it is…

Mostly, they are misinterpreting comments he made during a videotaped deposition.

“Lori Matheson is fighting her ex-husband, Michael Schmitt, for the right to decide if their two-year-old daughter should be vaccinated.”

Michigan anti-vaccination case to goes to court

A videotaped deposition in a case involving parents who disagreed about vaccinating their daughter…

Even though it isn't his exact quote and anti-vaccine folks don't give you the full context of what he was talking about, it is clear that Dr. Plotkin simply meant that you can't prove a negative.
Even though it isn’t his exact quote and anti-vaccine folks don’t give you the full context of what he was talking about, it is clear that Dr. Plotkin simply meant that you can’t prove a negative.

What do anti-vaccine folks think he said?

“I would say it is logically true that you cannot say, you cannot point to proof that it doesn’t cause autism. ”

Stanley Plotkin, M.D.

No, he isn’t saying that vaccines are associated with autism.

“I could not say that as a, as a scientist or a logician. But I can say as a physician that, no, they do not cause autism, because as a physician, I have to take the whole body of scientific information into consideration when I make a recommendation for a child.”

Stanley Plotkin, M.D.

All he is saying is that you can’t definitively prove a negative.

One of the different things in communicating the fact that there is no link is that science and English are not really the same language. So when a scientist says, “We have no evidence that there’s a link between vaccines and autism,” what they’re really saying is, “We are as positive as someone can humanly be that there’s no link.”
Seth Mnookin explain it well – One of the different things in communicating the fact that there is no link is that science and English are not really the same language. So when a scientist says, “We have no evidence that there’s a link between vaccines and autism,” what they’re really saying is, “We are as positive as someone can humanly be that there’s no link.”

For example, just because I have never seen a black swan, I can’t use that as proof that black swans don’t exist somewhere. After all, I haven’t been everywhere.

“…scientists can be at a real disadvantage in this debate because they, by their nature, are careful in how they present their conclusions.”

Vaccines: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

What else do anti-vaccine folks have a problem with?

Remember the rubella vaccine he developed?

“After a detour to obtain credentials as a pediatrician, I returned to Wistarto work on rubella. Those years were fraught with advances and reverses, controversy and eventually vindication. The pandemic of CRS babies in 1964-65 was an important stimulus to research on the vaccine. “

Stanley Plotkin’s On the Occasion of the Presentation Of The 2002 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal

During the rubella epidemic of 1964-65, there were 12.5 million rubella virus infections, which “resulted in 11,250 therapeutic or spontaneous abortions, 2,100 neonatal deaths, and 20,000 infants born with congenital rubella syndrome.”

And that’s just in the United States.

The controversy?

“There were only two fetuses involved in making vaccines. When fetal strains of, fibroblast strains were first developed, I was involved in that work trying to characterize those cells; but they were not used to make vaccines.”

Stanley Plotkin, M.D.

It is well known (this isn’t some shocking truth as some are trying to push) that some vaccines are made with fetal embryo fibroblast cells (the WI-38 and MRC-5 cells) from cell lines that are derived (they can replicate infinitely) from two electively terminated pregnancies (abortions) in the 1960s.

Those two fetuses weren’t the only two fetuses ever used in research though, they were just the only ones used to actually make vaccines.

“Human diploid cell strains (HDCSs) are batches of cells that are currently used for different purposes, including culturing viruses for the manufacturing of vaccines”

A brief history of human diploid cell strains.

They had to get to the point where they knew how to make vaccines in human cell lines though and that’s what he is talking about in the deposition.

“Q. In any event, so we have 76 in this study. Would you approximate it’s been a few hundred fetuses?


A. Oh, no, I don’t think it was that many. Probably not many more than in this paper. And I should stipulate that we had nothing to do with the cause of the abortion.”

It took some experimentation to find the right kind of cells and the right methods, but ultimately, they found that fetal embryo fibroblast cells were the best to use to grow many viruses.

Copies of those same cells are still used today.

What about the other “issues” brought up in the deposition?

Did he experiment on orphans, people who were mentally handicapped, or those who lived in third world countries?

“I don’t remember specifically, but it’s possible. And, again, I repeat that in the 1960s, that was more or less common practice. I’ve since changed my mind. But those were, that was a long time ago.”

Stanley Plotkin, M.D.

Those were different times, but Dr. Plotkin’s vaccine studies weren’t unethical and weren’t like what was done at Willowbrook, in which children were purposely exposed to hepatitis, with the justification that most of them ended up getting it anyway.

Surprisingly, in the early 1970s, there was still some debate about the ethics of doing experiments on children, and as you can see, using ableist language to describe children with a disability.
Surprisingly, in the early 1970s, there was still some debate about the ethics of doing experiments on children, and as you can see, using ableist language to describe children with a disability.

And from those times, experts developed the rules for how things are now done.

Ironically, anti-vaccine folks are pushing this stuff about Plotkin, but don’t understand why leaving kids completely unvaccinated and unprotected in a study is unethical.

“One is morally free to use the vaccine regardless of its historical association with abortion. The reason is that the risk to public health, if one chooses not to vaccinate, outweighs the legitimate concern about the origins of the vaccine. This is especially important for parents, who have a moral obligation to protect the life and health of their children and those around them.”

National Catholic Bioethics Center FAQ on the Use of Vaccines

Or why it’s immoral to push anti-vaccine propaganda or put others at risk to get a vaccine-preventable disease.

“Results indicate that the total number of cases of poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, adenovirus, rabies and hepatitis A averted or treated with WI-38 related vaccines was 198 million in the U.S. and 4.5 billion globally (720 million in Africa; 387 million in Latin America and the Caribbean; 2.7 billion in Asia; and 455 million in Europe). The total number of deaths averted from these same diseases was approximately 450,000 in the U.S., and 10.3 million globally (1.6 million in Africa; 886 thousand in Latin America and the Caribbean; 6.2 million in Asia; and 1.0 million in Europe).”

Olshansky et al on The Role of the WI-38 Cell Strain in Saving Lives and Reducing Morbidity

Dr. Plotkin’s work has helped save millions of lives.

“His achievements in vaccinology are on a scale that truly can be measured in lives saved and lives restored.”

On the Occasion of the Presentation Of The 2002 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal

And that’s why anti-vaccine folks are attacking him.

More on Stanley Plotkin