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Vaccine Sources & Ingredients

Beakers on a lab table

I’m fortunate enough to be both a patient and to be able to see the inner workings of the world of medicine. (Your doctor isn’t always behind because they’re inefficient, they’re behind because a patient before you needed significant care.) It’s precisely because of my vantage point that I’m able to have a better understanding of these complex issues and, in turn, help you to work through these ethical concerns.

There are a number of vaccines today that have been derived from aborted fetal cell lines. As of November 2015, there are 21 vaccines available in the United States and Canada that have aborted fetal cell lines as their source. Ethically conscious parents who object to abortion should have grave concern over this reality.

Vaccines are highly regulated, carefully manufactured, peer and government reviewed, clinically tested formulations intended to prevent the spread of dangerous communicable diseases. They are composed of chemical and organic matter which, in concert, can reasonably prevent a patient from becoming ill or dying from a particular illness. After a vaccine is approved, it is continually monitored and studied to ensure safety.

There are two kinds of vaccines, one has a live but weakened virus and the other has broken down parts of the virus or bacteria. By introducing either the live but weakened virus or parts of a virus to the body in a controlled environment, the immune system can learn how to defeat that particular virus on a small scale, and remember it for the future. As a nerdy analogy, it’s like playing Super Mario and beating the big boss for the first time. You remember how you beat the boss, so the next time you play the game, you win handedly. In the same way, the virus is defeated by the immune system, which stores that information for next time.

There is concern about the chemical component of the vaccines. The chemicals serve three general purposes, as a suspending fluid, a preservative and stabilizer, and as an enhancer to increase the effectiveness of a vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control notes that the addition of these chemicals are necessary in order to maintain the vaccination’s potency, sterility, and safety and that the amount added is “minute.” These chemicals are FDA approved, food-grade chemicals that serve a very specific purpose. The CDC has published an entire list of chemicals contained in all of the vaccines that are on the market today.