TENNESSEE, July 7, 2008 ( – Children of God for Life is calling on the Medical Profession to “just say no” to the newly US licensed aborted fetal vaccine, Pentacel, made by Sanofi Pasteur.  On June 26th the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended the vaccine be added to the immunization schedule for children, despite the fact that moral alternatives have been used in the US for years.

“We find it strange that the ACIP would recommend Pentacel in particular when children are already receiving untainted versions of these vaccines in their routine series of shots,” said Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director for Children of God for Life. 

Pentacel is a combination vaccine of Diptheria, Pertussis, Tetanus (DTaP) plus HiB and Polio.  The polio portion of the vaccine uses aborted fetal cell line MRC-5, taken from the lung tissue of an electively aborted 14-week gestation baby.

“If a 5 in 1 vaccine is desired, why not recommend the ethical version Pediarix, made by Glaxo SmithKline?” Vinnedge asked.  “The only difference between the two is that Pediarix protects against Hepatitis-B instead of HiB.  Doctors using Pediarix today give separate shots for HiB. With Pentacel they will still have to give separate shots for Hepatitis-B so its not like Pentacel is reducing the number of injections.”

Vinnedge suggested that the push for Pentacel by the ACIP appears to be a financial plug for Sanofi Pasteur, since sales of the vaccine may be lagging in both the US and Canada.  Last year Canadian Physicians for Life successfully lobbied for access to Pediacel, a European version identical to Pentacel, except it does not use aborted fetal cell lines.

In May 2006, the Catholic Medical Association issued a formal statement noting that, “When alternative vaccines are available, they must be used in place of those produced by immoral means.”  Likewise, the Christian Medical and Dental Association have repeatedly called on the industry to stop using aborted fetal cell lines in vaccine production. 

In June 2005 the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life stated that doctors and families have not only a duty, but a “grave responsibility” to use alternatives and to pressure the industry so that vaccines without moral problems become available.  But since there are already ethically acceptable alternatives to Pentacel that are widely used by the medical profession, parents should not have any problem obtaining them. 

“It is our hope that physicians will simply continue purchasing the competing products they have used for years”, Ms Vinnedge added.  “The only way these drug companies will get the message that the public will not tolerate using aborted fetal vaccines is when the pharmaceutical companies’ financial bottom line suffers. In the case of Pentacel, we certainly hope it will.”

See related coverage:

  Vatican Condemns Vaccines Made with Tissue Obtained by Abortion

Vatican Official Clarifies Stand On Vaccines From Fetal Tissue