Some Efficacious Vaccines are Produced Unethically

In recent days a controversy has arisen over whether parents should be required to vaccinate their children. Some politicians with presidential aspirations were criticized for defending the rights of parents to make that decision. As an internal medicine doctor, I believe strongly in the efficacy of vaccines. I also believe strongly that our vaccines (and all of our medical advances) should be safe and derived in a morally principled fashion.

There is an ethical concern about the measles vaccine issue that I do not believe the American public is aware: a component of the current MMR vaccine is derived from an aborted fetal cell line. As such, there is a large group of Americans who will not avail themselves of this “tainted” therapy.  The unfortunate truth is that there are ethical, morally acceptable alternative vaccines that are simply not made available to Americans.

Measles is a viral disease that can lead to infection of the brain (encephalitis) in 1 in 1,000 cases, resulting in serious neurologic complications and sometimes death. In addition, it can lead to other problems such as pneumonia. Vaccines for measles are now commonly combined in the MMR vaccine with vaccines for rubella and mumps. These diseases can also result in deadly complications. Vaccination can nearly eliminate the risks from these viral infections.

In order for vaccines to be made for viruses, the virus must first be isolated, then grown in a cell line to provide sufficient numbers of the virus. That viral material is again isolated and put into a vaccine to be injected into the recipient. In isolating the virus after it is grown in a cell line, particles from the cells, including particles of the host DNA in which it was grown, are collected and become part of the material that is injected into the recipient. When the cell line used is of human origin, legitimate concerns about the consequences of injecting another’s DNA into the recipient have been raised and not yet answered.

The rubella virus used in the rubella component of the MMR vaccine was obtained from a fetus that was aborted in the 1970s.[1] [2] To make the current MMR vaccine, it is grown in a human cell line, WI-38, that was derived from a 3-month-old fetus that was electively aborted in the early 1960s because the parents felt they had too many children. [3] The cells from that original fetus have been kept in culture media, and have given rise to multiple daughter populations that are use in making vaccines.

The strain of virus used in the measles and mumps components of the MMR vaccine were derived from the blood of living children who had the disease in question and is grown in chick embryo cells, hence, there is no ethical concern about these components of the vaccine.

Prior to 2009, Merck, the manufacturer of the MMR vaccine used in the U.S. and in many other countries, made available individually separate vaccines for mumps and measles that were derived from the ethically acceptable sources as described. In 2009, they stopped making these vaccines available, despite reassurances to the contrary. Since then, Merck has refused to license these vaccines to other companies who were interested in making them available to the public. It has been since 2009 that the incidence of measles in this country has risen, so it is not inconceivable that legitimate ethical concerns have been at least one factor for the decline in the rate of measles vaccination.

The ethical problem is not isolated to the MMR vaccine. Cell lines from aborted fetuses are used in the vaccines for Hepatitis A, chicken pox, shingles, rabies, some small pox vaccines, some polio vaccines, some combination polio vaccines such as Pentacel and Quadracel, and in some of the new Ebola vaccines. Additionally aborted fetal cells are utilized in some treatments for hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The fact is, that none of these need to come from such sources, but could be made from other cell lines readily available in research circles.

For instance, the Kitasato Institute in Japan makes MMR vaccines that are ethically acceptable. Regrettably, the FDA decided not to allow their importation into the United States. Individuals can travel to Japan to receive these vaccines, but obviously, that is not a sensible solution to improving vaccination rates significantly.

Politicians and some in the media have suggested mandating vaccinations of children against the moral objections of their parents. Those same public figures would serve us better by helping to promote the manufacture or importation of vaccines that are derived ethically. Parents and their children deserve wholesome untainted vaccine alternatives to promote the health and the safety of their children.

[1] American Journal Diseases of Children; Virus Production and Biological Control of Live Attenuated Rubella Virus Vaccines, Vol. 118 Aug 1969; Attenuation Of RA273 Rubella Virus; Studies of Immunization With Living Rubella Virus; Arch J Dis Child vol 110 Oct 1965.

[2] T.H. Chang et al, Chromosome Studies of Human Cells Infected in Utero and In Vitro with Rubella Virus, Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 122.1 (May 1966), pp 237-238.

[3] Meredith Wadman, Medical Research: Cell Division, Nature 498, 422–426 (27 June 2013) doi:10.1038/498422a.

Dr. Jay Carpenter, M.D.


Dr. Jay Carpenter, M.D., is a founding member of the Board of Directors for Professionals for Excellence in Health Care, a group of physicians, attorneys, nurses, pharmacists, and related health care professionals dedicated to the ethical treatment of persons, born and unborn. Dr. Carpenter entered into private practice in Internal Medicine in 1984 in Clearwater, FL. In 2013 Dr. Carpenter was chosen by the Vatican to receive Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice—the highest award conferred upon members of the laity by the Holy See.

  • Rita

    Thanks so much for this article- it’s great to see coming from an MD. We asked Merck for ‘unbundled’ vaccine but to no avail. Our sympathetic pediatrician attempted to find alternatives, also, no success.

  • al d

    In today’s world with all the health options we don’t need forced mandatory vacinations to children just born out of the womb…. We need to re-look at this – this is America….

  • McG

    I respect parents’ decision to refuse vaccines that come from such sources if they do so on ethical grounds, but how would we analyze such a situation using the principles of cooperation of evil? People who use such vaccines are merely materially cooperating with evil rather than formally cooperating, correct? One could also argue that they are cooperating remotely rather than proximally to the evil, right? Thus, if there is no other vaccine available for a particular disease, would it be reasonable for parents’ to vaccine their children, but also demand for a more ethically sound alternative?

    • anon

      Your “equations” are missing two vital factors. First, you have to factor in the seriousness of the disease you are trying to prevent in your own children. (E.g. if your child is healthy then chickenpox is not serious during early childhood, but the older the child gets, the more serious it is and thus the more urgent the need for vaccination becomes.) Secondly, as a society, we can protect the infants and immunocompromised people among us by vaccinating our healthy children. These are much greater goods than participating from such a great, great distance as the development of these vaccines. I would go so far as to say we have an ethical DUTY to vaccine, while at the same time demanding ethical research in the future.

      • craig

        I concur, speaking as someone who inexplicably got the chickenpox at 22 years old (short version: 105-degree fever at the start, 40 pounds lighter by the end). While I didn’t know the chickenpox vaccine was unethically-derived, when the time came you bet my son was vaccinated.

    • lifeknight

      The key idea is that we demand an alternative. It IS already out there, but not enough voices clammoring for it……yet.

    • craig

      There are three relevant facts, as I see it.
      1. The vaccine was unethically cultivated long ago from the cells of an aborted child, and is still cultivated from the same cell lines. No further injury is done to that child or any other by continuing to cultivate those cell lines, so any cooperation with the original evil is remote and not proximate.)

      2. While a more ethical alternative exists, it is unavailable for
      purchase. If it were available, one might be culpable for choosing the
      unethically-derived vaccine. Since it is not, any cooperation with evil
      is material and not formal.

      3. Obvious and grave injury will be done to (some unspecified number of) other children by refusing to use this vaccine in the absence of a more ethical alternative. The duty to protect one’s own family and community must be considered, as the likely harm of not vaccinating typically falls upon another and not the individual deciding whether to vaccinate.

      • Jen Anthony

        Hi Craig,

        To your first point, I have two thoughts…. One is that the passage of time does not diminish a sinful act. From Donum Vitae (I, 4: 1987) “The corpses of human embryos and fetuses, whether they have been deliberately aborted or not, must be respected just as the remains of other human beings.” Using vaccines produced from aborted fetal cell lines shows a profound disrespect for the remains of these unfortunate children and exploiting these babies for profit violates the teachings of our Church. Two, by receiving these vaccines and not taking a stand we enable a culture of acceptance that tells Merck and other manufactures that this practice is acceptable and rewards them financially from those acts over and over again. It is erroneous to think that no new fetal tissue is or will be needed to develop vaccine cell lines. We now know that the current MMR vaccine cultured on WI-38 has a finite life. The cell line will eventually die out and will need to be replaced. A cell line dubbed PER C6 was obtained from an 18 week old fetus aborted in 1985, was developed by a Dutch Pharmaceutical in 1995, and has been licensed by other pharmaceutical companies who desire to develop new vaccines. It’s my understanding that Johnson and Johnson/Crucell is using PER C6 to create their Ebola vaccine. And there are two Ebola vaccines being developed in the United States for use worldwide and they are also being cultivated on newer aborted fetal cell lines (HEK 293). There are other Ebola vaccines in the works outside of the US that use Vero cell or chicken eggs or even plant material but only these three have initial approval from the FDA. Until we create a market for moral vaccines, pharmaceutical companies will have no reason to provide moral alternatives.

        In Peace,


        • craig

          Jen, good reply. Passage of time doesn’t obviate the sin, but the damage is already done; refusing to use the vaccine doesn’t undo the damage nor do it all over again. The cultivated cells aren’t still a part of the aborted child, any more than cells of mine cultivated in a petri dish at the infectious-disease lab are still part of me.

          As for Big Pharma having the world over a barrel, I agree but would prefer to convince these companies to do the right thing for the sake of good public relations. Corporations don’t set out to be evil, and generally prefer to be viewed as good citizens. I disagree that you can effectively ‘create a market’ by abstaining from vaccination, as if it were of no more import than abstaining from makeup and shampoo tested on animals. Agreeing to let others get sick for your own moral ends is like gambling with someone else’s money.

          • Kimberly

            I don’t think Jen was being blunt enough.
            1) If you are happy to use this vaccine, or at least happy to excuse yourself from any moral culpability (whether direct or remote) you are consciously benefiting from the murder of an aborted child.
            2) Per the act of refusing to use the murder tainted vaccines as a form of protest, in an attempt to do what the Vatican asked (that we work for an alternative), what better way is there? A petition will do absolutely nothing. MERK knows that if someone voluntarily gives them money for a vaccine, any protestations that come with it are just a lot of hot air. They got what they wanted from you, and so why should they act on a protest of yours when you won’t be buying the same vaccine again?
            3) MERK has a friend in the US government. Soon, parents who don’t use the murder tainted vaccines will go to jail and loose custody of their children. It is the US government, and not non-vaccinating parents, who are putting the lives of children at risk. All the US government has to do is allow the non murder tainted vaccines to be sold in the US. The fault lies squarely with them. Send your petition to them.

            • craig

              I don’t think I was being blunt enough.

              1) If you rely on herd immunity — that is, the probability that most in your community are immune to the diseases in question — then you too are consciously benefiting, albeit by proxy, from the murder of an aborted child. You want to be morally pure, move somewhere where you can live like Damien of Molokai, free from the corruption of the immunized.

              2) “… what better way is there?” Catholic hospitals and universities could, you know, use some of their expensive research facilities to fund and develop an ethical vaccine. But they have abandoned the love they had at first (Rev 2:4), and are too busy serving their new master the Democratic Party as it renders control over every individual’s health decisions to Washington. If the government then goes after parents who choose ‘wrongly’ regarding their children’s health care, let it be known that the Catholic Left was first in line demanding the government be handed that power.

              3) The last six years have amply proven that the US government does not give a damn what the people want in health care. You’re more likely to get results petitioning Merck.

    • Terri77

      The analysis was done by the Pontifical Academy for Life here:

      It is remote material cooperation, and we are obliged to object to the use of aborted fetal cells in vaccines. They can be used “on a temporary basis” if someone is in grave danger, but to refuse them entirely is a morally sound option. Note that the current situation regarding aborted fetal cells will be permanent if everyone doesn’t starting speak up. It’s been going on for decades, and the companies have interpreted the silence of the last four decades and to be complete approval. Of course, before the internet, you’d have had to go to a library to figure out what MRC-5 was. right? It’s not like anyone really knew.

      Two good articles on how to interpret the PAFL document here:


    • melissa

      The Vatican has responded to this issue. The Congregation on the Doctrine of the Faith issued a letter entitled “Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Fetuses.” It is widely available on the internet. I believe that its conclusion agrees with yours.

  • clouisec

    Thank you for calling this out, Dr. Carpenter. As a mother, I want my boys to be vaccinated AND I want the vaccines put into their little bodies to have been derived from ethical sources. It angers me that ethical alternatives exist but are not available. I’m tired of being sold the lie that we must either use the unethical vaccine lines or choose to go unvaccinated. How can I get involved to make the ethical vaccines available to the children of concerned parents like me?

  • tanyahe

    why do we have to accept the unacceptable? Aren’t there any pharmaceutical companies willing to produce the alternative. They would make a ton of money, especially if they advertised -made without aborted cell lines.

    • kcard82

      Sign the petition. Google Merck vaccine petition. (wouldn’t let me link it.)

      • clouisec

        Done! Thank you!

      • tanyahe


      • tanyahe


      • Chauffeur

        Count me in too.

    • Mark

      “the Kitasato Institute in Japan makes MMR vaccines that are ethically acceptable. Regrettably, the FDA decided not to allow their importation into the United States” The bottom line is government sanctioned monopolies in the form of patents and drug importation restrictions prevent morally acceptable alternatives. The free market otherwise know as laissez fair capitalism would allow morally acceptable alternatives. Unfortunately, too many Catholics including many editors for crisis magazine abhor the free market as a sin, and this is the unfortunate consequence of such the anti-free market gurus.

      • Catholic pilgrim

        Did it ever occur to you that the Kitaso Institute receives funding & benefits from the Japanese Government? Do you even know anything about the Health system of Japan? Do not make a golden calf out of the “free market”. There’s more to life than “free market” economics.

        • Mark

          Well genius, the Japanese Government has no money to give away. No
          government ‘has money’. All governments can do is take money from its
          citizens in the form of taxes to “fund and benefit” other institutes or
          agencies. Of course people like you can never grasp that concept.
          Perhaps I have worked in Japan in the health care system and I know more
          about their health care system then you could imagine (would that
          change your mind…of course not). You don’t have to work in the health
          care system of any particular country to understand how it works. Free
          markets aren’t a golden calf I never said that. A big government person
          like you can only bash free markets with nonsensical attacks instead of
          making a logical argument. I’m sure you favor statist (or government) interventions
          over the free market. Perhaps government intervention your golden calf.
          Sorry my friend… I love Chesterton and I agree there is more to life
          than money or capital. But the bottom line to economic systems boils
          down to two choices free markets or government intervention, and the more government intervention the more communistic and disastrous the economic system. That’s
          it. Their is no third option utopia, that’s for those who go to heaven.
          Keep drinking the purple kool aid of big government interventions and
          pretending it is what Jesus would want. Ask not what you can do to help
          the poor and sick, ask what government intervention can do to
          help…did I figure out your moral economic philosophy. Money is no
          object to helping those who are less fortunate as long it is other
          people’s money…right? Thanks for letting me know there is more to life than free markets. I had no idea. I forgot all about chemistry, physics, history, religion, family, etc, etc. You really are a genius and a philosopher! Please share more of your wisdom with me. (Please don’t, this is sarcasm, I find you dull, idiotic, and irritating…free markets are not a golden calf…there is more to life than free markets…really…no kidding…Please keep your wealth of knowledge to yourself.)

    • Helen

      There is a pharmaceutical company willing to produce the alternative run by Dr. Theresa Deisher, PHD of located in Seattle WA Let’s get her name to the politicians who are interested in making safe vaccines available to the American public. Visit the website to learn more.

      • tanyahe

        Thank you for that information. I’ll get the word out on their company.

  • lifeknight

    Children of God for Life ( has an excellent website to inform all of us regarding vaccines. The doctor in this article knows what Church teaching has said: parents may abstain or demand alternatives. The point is that WE are tasked with finding a way to avoid cooperation.
    The Japanese would probably jump at the chance to have imports. Write Congress if you believe we deserve better. The FDA will have a big part to play as well.

    On another related note: Check out (google?) a Dr. Teresa Diesher or Deisher out of Seattle. Sound Choice research, I believe. She has some DOCUMENTED scientific vaccine reactions associate with injecting someone else’s DNA into your child.

    • RooforLife

      Dr Theresa Deisher

    • concerned

      … and what about the horror of CJD Disease when humans inject / consume other humans’ flesh (see and see article on Pepsi-co use of human aborted tissue as “flavour-enhancer”) – as cannibals of the past soon found out to their horror? Or are we repeating their same old tragic mistake? See also the inherent DANGERS of the “new” vaccinations (containing DNA from aborted babies) from pharmaceutical companies who have no time for morality.

      No. One evil NEVER justifies another evil (however “positive” it may sound at first).
      Otherwise the “civilised” world is NO BETTER than Hitler (zealous follower of atheist Friedrich Nietzche who promoted Eugenics, ethnic cleansing, mass murder) and NO BETTER than “militant atheists” Stalin and Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Caesescu, etc. who followed the same path).

      So these tunnel-visioned pharmaceutical companies (taking the shortest-cut to their greedy commercial bottom-line) MUST be confronted immediately – or (if the politicians lack the courage to help us) – these companies must be comprehensively publicly named and shamed and the truth told.

  • Katy

    Thank you for writing this and explaining it so clearly, I had been researching this all week and I think this article is the perfect resource to use in order to understand the problem we are facing, I also appreciate the solution offered. We now know what we can do to demand ethical and safe vaccines for our children

  • Melody

    My daughter tried to get the MMR that is made without fetal cells. Her doctor was able to find it. Only problem, they had to buy the entire bottle, something like $400 to $500. But even though they would be using a small amount of it, the rest was NOT to be used by any other parent requesting it. So unfair!! And unethical in its own right.

    • Terri77

      How did he get it? We tried to apply as a group through COGforLife in 2008 and the FDA turned us down (6000 families during a Rubella epidemic no less!). Are you in the US?

  • kcard82

    Google “merck vaccine petition” and sign it!

  • Debi Vinnedge
  • Emily

    Dr. Carpenter, thank you for explaining all of this. One thing I’m still very curious about is why they chose to use the aborted fetal cells. To the best of my knowledge, there was no rubella vaccine before the one created with the aborted cells. Why is this? Was there some difficulty in isolating and cultivating the virus using other methods? Could it have been done otherwise at the time of its production? Was the use of the aborted cells necessary for the vaccine production at the time? Was it a matter of scientific novelty? I’m very curious about what motives were at play in the making of the rubella vaccine. Thank you.

    • Debi Vinnedge

      There was no reason to use aborted fetal cells at all. There was an epidemic and they could have done what the Japanese did to obtain the virus: they swabbed the throat of an infected child. They also could have used the virus from miscarried babies and the researcher himself admitted either one was virulent enough. Likewise, they could have cultured the virus on a number of cell lines but chose to use aborted babies in that research and development as well. There were over 80 abortions involved before perfecting the rubella virus. Totally unnecessary. The Japanese version is grown on rabbit cells.

    • Terri77

      To add to what Debi said, we *did* have a moral alternative in the US prior to the introduction of the current Rubella vaccine which is titled “Meruvax II.” My understanding is that Meruvax I was moral, but it was more expensive to make–it’s all about money. But Debi, correct me if I’m wrong….

      • Debi Vinnedge

        Terri77 – No Meruvax was not morally produced. But there were 2 licensed rubella vaccines in the US at the time. One was Cendehill and the other was HPV-77 and both used animal cell lines. They were trying to produce a more efficacious vaccine but the efficacy and safety of both vaccines rate pretty much the same as the present day rubella.

        • Terri77

          Thank you for clarifying that Debi. Out of curiosity, what changed between Meruvax I and II then?

          • Debi Vinnedge

            So sorry Terri – my mistake – HPV-77 which used duck embryo was made by Merck and went under the trade name of Meruvax until they changed to the aborted fetal version and named it Mervuax II in 1979. I thought it went by HPV-77 as the trade name but it didn’t. They actually marketed under the same name even though the composition is entirely different. Very strange and pretty deceptive.

  • St JD George

    Thank you Dr. Carpenter for sharing. Not surprised that I didn’t see in any of my other news outlets. This doesn’t affect me or my family and more, but it is an important cause worth signing a petition for and raising awareness of ethical principles.

    • Terri77

      This will affect everyone because as natural cases of measles, mumps, and rubella wane, vaccinated people are losing their immunity. Vaccines work best when the body gets an immune boost from reexposure to the virus. They’re already talking about the possible need for a third dose as an adult.

      • St JD George

        As it turns out I have a physical scheduled for next week. I will discuss with my Dr. then. Thank you for sharing.

        • Terri77

          I hope your physical goes well. Keep in mind that before getting a booster, you can ask your doctor to test your immunity. If your immunity is high, you wouldn’t need a booster anyways.

      • Beth

        This points exactly to my question: Why are vaccinated folks concerned about non-vaccinated? It’s not like THEIR kids are going to get measles.

        But if what you are saying is correct, then the non-vaccinated who are actually getting the virus are doing a FAVOR to boost the immunity of the long-ago vaccinated. Is this a fair statement?

        • Terri77

          I think there is a general frustration and anger over the prolonged debate regarding autism and a general anger that the unimmunized are endangering babies and people who are immunocompromised. I don’t think these people are generally worried about themselves unless they have an infant, and very few people are aware that “wild” cases boost vaccine-induced immunity. I think the medical community knows, but their solution is simply to suggest more and more boosters instead of rethinking whether a vaccine should be mandated.

          Wide-spread vaccination may put babies at more risk depending on the disease, though. Diseases like Chicken pox (and Mumps?) are (were) generally considered benign childhood diseases but more serious in adulthood. When the mother has had a natural case of these, has her own immunity reinforced by other cases around her, and then breastfeeds her baby, she passes on antibodies which give the baby immunity to these diseases until the baby stops nursing. It is unclear whether women vaccinated as children and then not exposed to the virus at all have enough immunity to pass on sufficient antibodies unless they are revaccinated close to the birth of their child. These vaccines might be better off being available but selectively used so that children can catch the diseases naturally, and anyone who didn’t catch it as a kid gets a dose when they’re 15 or 18 or whatever age the diseases start to get more serious to protect themselves. Great Britain, in fact, weighed the benefits and risks of the Chicken Pox vaccine and decided that eliminating full-blown cases of chicken pox would reduce the immunity in adults and increase the incidence of shingles in the elderly. They decided that the handful of children who would be saved was not worth the price for the elderly.

          Obviously, Rubella and Polio are different in their outcomes and severity, and there is a good case for trying to reduce the incidence of these diseases in the population.

          And obviously, what I’ve said here presumes moral vaccines and simply questions what their best use is.

          • Beth

            Thank you so much for this reply!

          • JediWonk

            “Terri77’s” reply displays deep knowledge plusses and minuses of the current answers modern medicine has to offer. Alas, she has the wrong *question*.

            The government of the UK is making decisions about Chicken Pox as if today’s medicine were the only medicine that we would ever have. For example, they assume that we will never have a Chicken Pox vaccine as protective as enduring (and surviving, which is not guaranteed) a case of the disease. They are also assuming that total *eradication* of Chicken Pox, as we have with smallpox and are close to achieving with polio is impossible.

            Well, eradication will certainly not be possible so long as their are health care systems like the UK’s NHS that prioritize the known today vs. the possible better tomorrow.

            1/3 of all Americans will have a bout with shingles sometime in their lives. There is today safe and effective treatment for shingles, a drug called Valtrex. The only problem is that one must take the first dose of the drug so close to the first onset of symptoms that one essentially needs to have a bottle of the drug in one’s hand when one first notices the signs of a shingles attack.

            I was traveling with a 37-year-old colleague in America’s Silicon Valley when she became aware that she was having her second attack of shingles in her life. Her first was at 19 and cost her a semester of college. She didn’t happen to have a bottle of Valtrex with her so I gave her mine. She did not even miss a day of work.

            I had a similar experience with pertussis. Even though I am always fully up-to-date on all my vaccinations, the whooping cough vaccine depends on “herd immunity”. There were enough anti-vaxxer granola-eaters at my children’s private school that pertussis swept through it. None of my (vaccinated, of course) children got it, but I did.

            In adults, pertussis is a very serious disease. A west coast colleague who was similarly victimized by parents who decline vaccination for their kids already had two broken ribs by the time she was able to get in to see a doctor and start on a course of azithromycin. She missed three weeks of work because the antibiotic is not at all effective if not taken on first onset of symptoms. My first strange “barking” (not “whooping” like in children) cough hit at 10PM and I took my first dose of azithromycin at 10:04PM, because, of course, I had it with me. By 4AM my coughing had stopped.

            So sorry. I am a “Jacksonian” American when it comes to mankind’s oldest and most-remorseless enemies: Disease, Injury, and the Incapacitation That Comes with Aging. I am entirely uninterested in sacrificing the lives of a “few” American children for improvements in the health of “many” aged half a century or more from now. I want to fight a war of annihilation against all identifiable disease targets, and chicken pox does not escape my list.

            • Terri77

              Thank you for your thoughts JediWonk.

              I question whether it’s at all possible to eradicate the Chicken Pox with a live-virus chicken pox vaccine. Chicken pox is unique in that it continues to live in the host. Anyone with shingles can infect someone who has never had chicken pox or has low enough immunity to have a reoccurring case. The vaccine doesn’t eradicate the disease, it simply tries to introduce kids to a mild version of the chicken pox. If you have studies showing that the live-virus from the vaccine *does not* take up residence in the nerves, please do pass that on, but otherwise, you have to assume that every dose of chicken pox vaccine is simply reintroducing the chicken pox into the environment and that it may show up again later unless you reinforce the immunity. Unfortunately, the shingles vaccine is not that effective at reinforcing immunity in the older populations since the elderly have reduced immune systems or possibly since injections bypass half of the immune system. Would a nasal spray be more effective or is this a battle we can’t win at all with a live-virus vaccine?

              This is different from Smallpox, where the live-virus vaccine contained a *different* virus.

              It’s also different from how we’re approaching polio which is to start with the oral polio vaccine (OPV) which contains live polio viruses and then transition to an inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). The oral vaccine is preferred in countries where polio still exists because the IPV still allows the polio virus to live in the gut. Eventually, you hope that you’ve prevented anyone from catching new cases, and vaccinate with the IPV until there’s no more live polio in the environment.

              Chicken pox is also different from Measles and Rubella, where people don’t harbor these diseases after their infection. But there is always the lingering question with any measles outbreak as to whether a child who was recently vaccinated was shedding the virus and started the outbreak. We know that with many of the live-virus vaccines, the recipients can shed the virus for up to 6 weeks–sometimes longer if the recipient is immunocompromised. Again–I question whether we can possibly eradicate any disease using a live-virus vaccination that reintroduces the virus itself to the environment.

              One other thing, I sometimes wonder if we’re playing wack-a-mole here. Studies show that childhood cases of Measles, Mumps, and Chicken Pox prime the immune system and reduce the host’s chances of getting cancer later. Given that the childhood (age 0 to 19) cancer rate is 1 in 500 in the US, (up a bit from 30 years ago), later may not be adulthood. You may not be able to win the battle against deadly childhood diseases. Sadly the choice may end up being cancer or measles, take your pick.

        • JediWonk

          “Beth” asks why vaccinated folks should care about those who go unvaccinated.


          She should Google “herd immunity”.

  • Lindsay D

    Definitely something that needs to be better understood. Thank you for wroting

  • Terri77

    “Those same public figures would serve us better by helping to promote the manufacture or importation of vaccines that are derived ethically.” Amen Dr. Carpenter.

    And to be clear, it wasn’t just one abortion that was involved in these cell lines but up to 40 each. See Dr. Leiva’s article regarding these cell lines:

  • doug


    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      Thanks for your intelligent contribution, Doug. I am sure you have changed many minds.

      • Beth

        But Doug, why do you care? Are you not vaccinated? Do you have children NOT vaccinated? If you and your kids are vaccinated, what are you worried about?

        And tell me I am ignorant, just don’t call me a name. Thanks. I do really want to know.

  • that florida lady

    What a complete I am better than you grand stander you are! What a smug doctor you are! No one at the Vatican and no one in Europe sits there worrying about this slop 24/7. O you missed a beat worrying for God…ooops.. you sneezed and didn’t worry enough and were insecure! Betcha think God is going to strike you dead. Sorry the world went on BEFORE YOU THE GRANDSTANDER DOCTOR LIKE YOU SHOWED UP. I got immunized in 1970s and now I am laughing my ass off because they were doing this LONG BEFORE YOU PUT THE COAT ON. I AM 51 AND HAVE NO KIDS. I live in your Pinellas County. Awful. I am Catholic and don’t worry like you do. I have been accused of abortions when I couldn’t have kids. I live in your county here in Florida. Doctors like you should not be allowed to practice.

  • that florida lady

    Scott Stark my hub the lawyer and I the critical thinking educator and journalist do not believe the slop that you all are doing here. You are making money off of people who are scared and insecure. Meanwhile, if these kids get sick and die from diseases that they can PREVENT: YOU ARE GUILTY OF CHILD ABUSE. Shove it for your stupidity. Yes, I wrote that and I am glad that I did. I laugh at your insecurity and lack of free common sense that you have refused.

  • that florida lady

    We may have pictures of you here in Florida eating meat on Freeday or Friday as others would say. OMG

  • hippocrates

    The number of parents choosing not to use the MMR vaccine began to rise long before 2009. Thanks to Oprah and Jenny McCarthy, many parents were convinced that the vaccine was harmful. Yes, there is a small minority of conscientious objectors out there. But the damage to herd immunity was done long before 2009.
    Yes, some cell lines have been tainted. But further production of the vaccines, does not rely on the continued supply of human cell lines. That is, choosing to vaccinate American children does NOT require the occurrence of abortion. Unfortunately, not receiving the vaccines can put the children of the conscientious objectors at real risk. Talk about a rock and a hard place. I respect their courage in making a pro-life statement, but putting their innocent babies in danger is a high price to pay. If the only option to protect my baby is a less-than-pure one, am I obliged to protect the baby? Or focus on the taint, and let the health of the innocent be damned?
    To fix the FDA’s decision, you must start with electing a pro-life president. Unless you figure out a way around it. Just imagine : a black market of wholesome vaccines. There is money to be made there.

    • FRLBJ

      But these childhood diseases are not going to kill the baby. The immoral vaccines could cause debilitating diseases, yes, like autism in some sensitive individuals. So you propose to cannibalize unborn babies for their parts, so that you might have better health? This is immoral. The ends do not justify the means. Murder is immoral, suffering is not. The Nazis had the same thought, that the deadly eperiments and using of the bodies of fellow human beings would bring benefit to the favored Aryans. Also, the Church has said that Catholic doctors must object to the immoral vaccines. All I here is the sound of crickets from most of our ‘Catholic’ doctors. The drug companies are committing grave sin. Where is the protest of the pharmaceutical companies by Catholic parents?
      The chicken pox and shingles vaccination was grown in tissue from an aborted baby. The DNA from that baby is every vaccination. Think about the auto-immune disease increase we have seen all over the US!
      If the lampshades made from the skin of the Jewish and Catholic prisoners at Dachau were the only lampshades available, I would not use them. Ditto for the mattresses stuffed with human hair! What a sick culture we have where otherwise good people have no qualms about supposedly benefiting from the murder of children! No to Nazi medicine

      • hippocrates

        You are dead wrong
        Measles kills babies
        Pertussis kills babies
        HIB disease kills babies
        Get your facts straight

  • MAC

    Thank you, Dr. Carpenter, for explaining this ethical problem with some of the vaccines! And thank you to the commenter who provided a link to a petition to fight at least for an ethical Measles vaccine!

  • lifeknight

    Check this article: Dr. Suzanne Humphries, M.D. – Vaccine Strain of Measles Virus Found in Measles Outbreaks – See more at:

    Apparently the vaccine can cause measles. No one has mentioned that occurrence! What about mortality rates from the vaccine? Is there any data on that?

  • disqus_BK27FkoO65

    And we must ask ourselves why they would push these vaccines on us when there is an alternative.

  • SK

    Thank you! This is all so important! It is also important for people to realize, as you said, that this is not just about the MMR.

    So many times recently I have heard that it is morally acceptable to use tainted vaccines because there are no alternatives and the crime in their development is so distant in time. It is ridiculous in this day and age that we have to settle for that. If there are alternatives, we should have access to them. If there are not, they should be developed.

    As you mentioned, there are alternatives, but the U.S. government and the pharmaceutical companies are keeping them from us. The fact that Merck (whose integrity in the research of the MMR has been questioned) is the only company in the U.S. that provides any of these three vaccines (MMR) should be a red flag. Where else is such a monopoly tolerated? And one that so affects public health? How is it that “Big Pharma” is an evil, totalitarian, greedy force when it comes to the debate about health insurance, but it is perfectly innocent, intelligent and altruistic when it comes to vaccines?

    As you also mentioned, it is not just the MMR. This is about many vaccines, some of which have been more recently developed and for which, therefore, the “distance” argument for their use is irrelevant. We are being asked to compromise our principles one vaccine at a time. This is a big problem. The other problem is that if parents compromise and use the MMR despite its moral problems, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to get the schools to grant a religious or ethical exemption for the other tainted vaccines, such as chicken pox. If the government begins mandating vaccines, it will not accommodate parents either.

    It is not just about separating the MMR or finding an alternative to certain vaccines. We must demand ethical vaccines for all diseases, and easy access to them, and we must do so now.

    What I would like to know is how are the vegans and vegetarians going to be treated when they begin to realize that vaccines are often made, not only with human fetal tissues, but animal tissue as well – for example: dog, pig, chicken, monkey, cow, calf, guinea pigs, insects, eagle. Are they going to be dismissed and vilified as superstitious and selfish? Somehow I think the government, media, and pharmaceutical companies will give them a fair hearing and do what they can to appease them.

  • Cypressclimber

    The article is good, but it occurs to me there may be readers unclear on a particular question. Namely, can one in good conscience use a vaccine derived unethically, if there is no alternative available?

    From what I’ve read, the answer seems to be yes. After all, the vaccine itself is not evil, even if it’s testing involved the fruits of an evil act; and the person using the vaccine is not consenting to the evil in question.

  • Ronk

    Sorry, I don’t quite understand the problem. The vaccine makers, and even the cell line makers, did not cause the abortions or ask for the babies to be aborted in order to use their tissue. The babies were aborted previously for other reasons by other persons. All the cell line makers was to use the dead bodies of the aborted babies.
    The Church has no problem with the actions of those who choose to donate their (or their infant children’s) dead bodies to science for the benefit of humanity, as long as the bodies are treated with respect as far as possible under the circumstances. I don’t see why this principle shoudl not apply in cases where the dead body belongs to someone who has been murdered, even when the murder was committed by or with the approval of his own parent/s who are the same one/s approving the donation of the body to medical research and new medicine development.

    • Debi Vinnedge

      Actually Ronk, the abortionists, the researchers and the vaccine manufacturer (Merck) were all involved in procuring tissue from aborted babies specifically to produce vaccines. This is well documented at

  • Asiwome

    As a Catholic student, I believe
    strongly in the value of vaccines. I also strongly believe that the vaccines should
    be safe and derived from moral fashion. No evil can do good, for the evil will
    continue to multiply the evil and generate more evil in the society. What I
    mean is that, the MMR vaccine is derived from an aborted fetal cell is
    unacceptable and ethically wrong. Human beings are not material that will be
    used for experiment and to cure diseases.
    God in his goodness has given us
    so many means such as; aromatic plants, its roots, leaves and seeds for healthy
    lives. “And their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing of the
    nations.” (Ezekiel 47: 13, Revelation 22:2) Let us use we have from God
    for its purpose and not the alternative.
    Parents have the right to reject the MMR vaccine that
    is against their conscious and their religion. Let us all pray for our
    government leaders and politicians for the direction of the Holy Spirit that
    they will understand and appreciate what we have and use them for our nation. America! You are blessed with so many resources. Let us remain under this blessedness by doing
    what is ethically and acceptable for our motherland.

  • Manuel Cuellar Ceballos

    Most of the time we do not realize where the vaccines come from, we just go to the medical center to ask for vaccination. It is interesting how some people use other people to create those vaccines. if they want to save people why are they using unborn children to do that?. I think the purpose of the vaccines is good because those vaccines prevent people from illness but they will have to find an ethical way because it is not good to use the children to make those things.

    I am sure that if they found an unethical way to create those vaccines they will find an ethical way to do the same because as we know the vaccines are good because they will save people but as I said before they can not use an unethical thing to do that and the politicians have to work for the good of the people so they will need to work on that doing everything ethically.

  • Juan Fernando Velez Toro

    It is really outrageous knowing how our world is falling under a culture that does not respect human life. We know, it is very difficult for a mother does not provide the appropriate vaccines for their children because they could fall sick and that would be devastating, but we also understand how difficult is for people who believe in life as a gift from God, look at how the life of a human being is used in the creation of vaccines, just because those who make the vaccines do not want to accept other production alternatives. In my opinion, we should be a little braver and confront this situation, not being silent. We live in a country where technology is very advanced and where we have great potential for progress, then, why we, all together, do not seek for new methods that can help us to create development not only in our infrastructure, but also in the evaluation of man as a being worthy life.

  • The GOP same sex heathen
    “Rudy Giuliani” Bible now on sale. Call Rudy direct for best price.
    Vote for Rudy as GOD!

    Rudy is learning how to hug homosexuals

  • Sunni ISIS tried to behead Rudy but Obama pleaded for his life!