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(Personhood Alliance) – Despite Novavax’s public statements that its COVID-19 vaccine does not have any connection to abortion-derived cell lines, evidence from a private letter and Novavax’s own published study shows that the HEK293 aborted fetal cell line was used in the testing phase.

After filing a request for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. in January, Novavax, Inc., reports its protein-based vaccine does not have any connection to abortion-derived cell lines. In a recent Christianity Today article, which erroneously claimed the vaccine is “the first without links to aborted fetal cell lines,” a Novavax spokesperson was quoted as saying:

“No human fetal-derived cell lines or tissue, including HEK293 cells, are used in the development, manufacture, or production of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373.”

Though this statement is accurate, it is at the same time, deceptive. Novavax used an ethical cell line obtained from moth cells in the production and manufacture of its vaccine. However, the HEK293 cell line was used in the testing phase, as revealed in a scientific paper published by Novavax itself. The HEK293 cell line was originally harvested from the kidney of an aborted baby girl in 1973.

Novavax’s doublespeak

In the scientific paper, a third-party research group contracted by Novavax compared an HEK293-produced protein to Novavax’s insect-produced protein. Researchers found that Novavax’s insect-produced protein had a similar structural integrity to the HEK293-produced protein.

When presented with this evidence, the Novavax spokesperson provided another careful answer—that Novavax “did not use HEK293 cells in the testing of NVX-CoV2373.”

However, in a letter obtained by the Charlotte Lozier Institute from a medical colleague who requested information from Novavax (shown below), Novavax admits that HEK293 cells were indeed used as part of the testing phase for NVX-CoV2373:

“Testing was conducted to compare the structural integrity of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein produced in the Sf9 insect cells versus the spike protein produced in the mammalian human embryonic kidney HEK 293F cells. The comparison determined the Sf9 cell technology produced spike proteins were comparable in structural integrity as the spike proteins produced in the HEK 293F cell.”

In this same letter, Novavax also stated that “fetal-derived cell lines were not used in the manufacture, testing, or production of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.”

Enough with the double-speak.

Novavax’s public and private statements are confusing. Even if no live HEK293 cells were used in the test (and the study focused only on a structural comparison of the two proteins, using what is generally known about the HEK293 protein), Novavax still relied on knowledge obtained by harvesting the kidney cells of a pre-born baby girl who was intentionally killed.

If Novavax is interested in providing a COVID-19 vaccine “to a lot of people who have been hesitant to get other vaccines,” as its CEO Stanley Erck has said, then why not just speak plainly to the public? For many people, COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy stems from the vaccines’ connection to abortion.

There is a completely unnecessary connection to abortion present in Novavax’s vaccine.

Abortion-derived cell lines are unnecessary and potentially risky

The use of aborted human cell lines is not necessary at any point in the vaccine creation process—design, production, or testing. Novavax, like all biotech companies, has available to them ethical cell lines that are free of any connection to abortion.

Dr. David Prentice of the Charlotte Lozier Institute encourages Novavax and other biotech companies “to publicly dissociate themselves from any further use of illicit biological materials.” Dr. Prentice adds:

“This would go a long way to calming concerns, increasing goodwill, and frankly, decreasing use of such materials in labs. We celebrated Sanofi moving away from abortion-derived cells for production of their polio vaccine. We should encourage similar moves now regarding even post-production testing.”

Dr. Alan Moy, CEO of the Iowa biotech company Cellular Engineering Technologies and founder of the John Paul II Medical Research Institute agrees:

“There are alternative human cell lines that are not only free of ethical controversy but also offer scientific advantages to the HEK293 cell line for vaccines or routine drug testing.”

According to Dr. Moy, the HEK293 cell line is problematic far beyond the ethical controversy:

  • The HEK293 cell line is antiquated, created 50 years ago with methods that are vastly outdated.
  • The cell line does not have the normal cellular machinery of native human cells. It has been transformed into a tumor cell line with 50 percent more chromosomes than a normal human cell line.
  • It expresses viral genes and proteins that pose potential safety risks.
  • It does not produce native human proteins anymore and also lacks the native cell surface proteins necessary to conduct COVID testing, unless those important proteins are genetically added.
  • HEK293 cannot be replicated from future aborted fetal tissue, which is why researchers are creating new cell lines from new abortions for use in future vaccines.

But the future of biotech can and should be pro-life.

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PETITION: Appeal to Catholic Leaders to reject abortion-tainted COVID vaccines and mandates!
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As governments across the globe seek to mandate abortion-tainted Covid-19 “vaccines” on millions of people against their will, medical autonomy continues to diminish worldwide, setting a dangerous precedent for future generations. 

In response, during this Season of Advent, we have an important petition sponsored by Deacon Nick Donnelly of England, which makes the case that reception of the COVID vaccines currently available in the Western World is “morally illicit” for virtually all, if not every individual, in ordinary circumstances. 

The Bethlehem Declaration” has already been initially endorsed by four Catholic prelates, including Bishops Marian Eleganti, Rene Henry Gracida, Athanasius Schneider, and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, along with ten priests and many scholars, activists and journalists from the United States, Europe, and Australia.

It also provides a compelling presentation, rich with hyperlinked resources documenting that not only are these injections morally illicit, but ineffective, unsafe, and unnecessary.  

Calling mandates for reception of these chemicals “acts of violence” and “criminal,” the document also encourages those facing these difficult situations to exercise the virtue of prudence to the best of their ability while providing plenty of information to assist them in doing so. 

Deacon Donnelly said this manifesto received its name since the Church is presently contemplating the “baby Jesus who manifests the sanctity of life of all babies, created in the image and likeness of God.”  

“Bethlehem is also associated with the massacre of the Holy Innocents by King Herod,” he said. “This petition gives us the opportunity to protest on behalf of these silenced victims of the pharmaceutical industry” who have been exploited and used for the development and testing of COVID-19 vaccines. 

Another signatory, child advocate Elizabeth Yore, called the Bethlehem Declaration “an outstanding document” which serves as “the definitive response to the globalist tyrannical health Madness.”  Encouraging everyone to read it, she said, this petition “must resonate strongly amidst the noisy covid clatter.” 

“I so love the gravitas of this grace-filled and divinely inspired document,” Yore said. 

The Bethlehem Declaration concludes with the following appeal expressing the intention of this petition: 

We therefore respectfully appeal to the Holy Father, the CDF, all Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, lay faithful, and all people of good will to vehemently oppose the reception of these morally tainted, dangerous, and ineffective products, along with the gravely unjust mandates for their reception being imposed upon millions of students and workers across the Christian West. 


The Bethlehem Declaration:  
Challenging the moral liceity of the abortion-tainted experimental injections for COVID-19 and calling for universal opposition to ‘vaccine mandates’ 

 'For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man’ (GS 22). 


Whereas the Second Vatican Council rightly summarized the horror of abortion classifying it as an “abominable crime” which also encompasses a “supreme dishonour to the Creator” (GS 51 § 3; 27);  

Whereas St. John Paul II taught all must oppose such deliberate “murder” of the most vulnerable with “maximum of determination” (EV, 58; CL, 38); 

Whereas, the sanctity of pre-born babies, created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:27), is gravely violated by their utilitarian exploitation and commodification; thereby furthering the descent of the human race into “a civilization of ‘things’ and not of ‘persons’, a civilization in which persons are used in the same way as things are used” (St. John Paul II, GS, 13);  

Whereas all of the experimental COVID-19 gene-based vaccines currently available in the Western world, are abortion-tainted having been tested or developed through the abuse of stolen fetal cells from the bodies of murdered pre-born children… 



**Photo Credit:  Mike Baumeister on Unsplash

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A pro-life biotech future

Cellular Engineering Technologies and the John Paul II Medical Research Institute have created what Dr. Moy calls “the largest pipeline of ethical human cell lines that do not require the use of aborted fetal cells or embryonic stem cells.”

Dr. Moy notes that these cell lines can be used for production and testing of vaccines, biologics, gene therapy, and cell therapy “by combining modern genetic methods with post-natal stem cells”—namely, stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood.

“The cells maintain human cellular properties,” said Dr. Moy. “They’re free of contaminated viral proteins, which offers greater safety and reproducibility. They normally express the necessary cell surface proteins to conduct COVID vaccine testing and represent an endless reproducible supply because millions of newborns are delivered every year.”

Dr. Moy anticipates that these ethical cell lines will be commercially available to the broader scientific community and the pharmaceutical industry this year. Cellular Engineering Technologies currently offers contract research services that can provide routine drug testing and drug development with these ethical cell lines.

The future use of HEK293 and other abortion-derived cell lines is, thankfully, in jeopardy. The Personhood Alliance encourages the biotech and pharmaceutical industries to publicly commit to using ethically derived cell lines in the design, production, and testing of vaccines and other therapeutics.

This, of course, includes Novavax.

Reprinted with permission from Personhood Alliance