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UNITED KINGDOM, September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Trials for one of the leading potential coronavirus vaccines, which uses cell lines from an aborted baby, have been temporarily stopped after a trial participant was taken ill.

AstraZeneca, a British pharmaceutical company that has been developing a coronavirus vaccine in collaboration with the University of Oxford, issued a statement yesterday announcing the “voluntary pause of vaccination across all trials.”

While several outlets are describing the incident as a “serious suspected adverse reaction,” AstraZeneca’s statement simply refers to it as “a single event of an unexplained illness that occurred in the UK Phase III trial.” Large scale trials of the potential vaccine have also been happening in other parts of the world including South Africa and Brazil.

The New York Times has reported that an anonymous source “familiar with the situation” has told them that “the individual “had received a diagnosis of transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and is often sparked by viral infections.”

The pharmaceutical company insists that the decision to pause the trials is a “routine action” and that “[i]n large clinical trials, illnesses will happen by chance and must be independently reviewed.”

AstraZeneca is using the HEK-293 cell line made from fetal cells harvested from an aborted baby decades ago in the production of their coronavirus vaccine. The HEK-293 cell line was originally derived from kidney tissue taken from a healthy baby girl who was electively aborted in the Netherlands in 1972.

Last month Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that his government made an agreement with the British pharmaceutical company to supply Australians with their coronavirus vaccine for free, providing that the vaccine passes clinical trials.  Shortly after announcing the agreement Morrison first said that a coronavirus vaccine will be made “as mandatory as you can possibly make it” before quickly walking back the comments somewhat and saying that the vaccine “is not going to be compulsory” and that “we can’t hold someone down and make them take it.”

In May the US Federal government announced that it was giving $1.2 billion towards the development of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine as part of President Trump’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’ program.

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