FETAL CELL LINES – Actions and Intentions


Is the public aware or unaware that all the currently authorised COVID-19 vaccines are developed from fetal cell lines derived from the tissue of aborted fetuses?  This is confirmed by scientists and researchers as ‘standard  procedure in vaccine research’ with multiple papers published online as early as May 2020.


Leaked internal Pfizer emails released by Whistleblower Melissa Strickler, indicate Pfizer’s intent to hide vaccine information from the public, sparking international debate. The emails, admitting the use of fetal cell lines in vaccines (originally derived from tissues harvested from clinical abortions) is information likely to have generated negative public response, potentially impacting upon the Covid vaccine programme… one of many potential reasons for secrecy.

The fetal cell line referred to in the Pfizer emails (HEK293T) is one of the major cell lines in use in vaccine development and was obtained from the kidney cells of a female fetus aborted in 1973. 

  • An email by Pfizer Senior Director of Worldwide Research, Vanessa Gelman, states “we want to avoid having the information on fetal cells floating out there … The risk of communicating this right now outweighs any potential benefit we could see, particularly with general members of the public who may take this information and use it in ways we may not want out there.”
  •  An email to Advait Badkar, senior Director of the Novel Delivery Technologies group within Pfizer’s Bio-therapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences organization stated: “One or more cell lines with an origin that can be traced back to human fetal tissue has been used in laboratory tests associated with the vaccine program.” warning that, “We have been trying as much as possible to not mention the fetal cell lines.”


To be clear, fetal cell lines are cells grown in a laboratory, cultivated from tissues harvested from clinical abortions. Current fetal cell lines all descend from cells taken from the tissues of abortions in the 1970s and 1980s, they are thousands of generations removed from the original laboratory procedures and no longer contain fetal tissue, other than at the bio-molecular level.

The first cells were taken from the fetal kidney tissue of an aborted fetus in January 1973 in the Netherlands by Frank Graham, a young Canadian working in the laboratory of Professor Alex van der Eb, a Dutch molecular biologist and virologist.  Normally, a cell has a finite number of divisions but Graham managed to modify these cells so that they divide ad infinitum.

‘Immortalized cell lines’ are established by culturing fetal cells in such a way that they continue growing and multiplying in laboratory dishes indefinitely.  The cells from 1970s and 1980s aborted tissue have multiplied over four or five decades, creating specific fetal cell lines, propagated and kept frozen they are still used today. Viruses grown in fetal cells are then harvested, the resulting cells are very easy to work with and have become the workhorses of cellular biology used in the development of drugs and vaccines. Cell lines age and can only be replicated so many times, these are over 60 years old, therefore new cell lines are being developed. In 2015, China developed another fetal cell line, the WalVax-2 strain.


  • HEK stands for “human embryonic kidney cells’ the HEK293 cell line was derived from the 293rd experiment in 1973.
  • HEK293T cell line is derived from the retinal tissue of an 18-week-old fetus aborted in 1985.
  •  WI-38 cells were derived by Leonard Hayflick, in 1962, from the lung of a 3-month female fetus .The initials WI refer to the Wistar Institute, a body of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and the number 38 to the fetus from which the cells were obtained.
  •  MRC-5 cells were obtained in 1966 from the lungs of a 14-week male fetus. The initials MRC indicate Medical Research Council, a body from London.”

The WI-38 and MRC-5 cell lines contain human diploid cells which were originally prepared from tissues of aborted fetuses in 1964 and 1970  are used for the preparation of vaccines based on live attenuated (weakened) virus.  The WI-38 line, a diploid human cell line is composed of fibroblasts derived from lung tissue of a 3-month-gestation female fetus. (Fibroblasts are the most common type of cell found in connective tissue.) The fetus came from the elective abortion of a Swedish woman in 1962, and was used without her knowledge or permission.

  • Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines used fetal cell line HEK 293 during the research and development phase.
  • Moderna also used HEK293T cells in their proof-of-concept tests to see if the genetic instructions contained in these vaccines would be effectively taken up and produce the required spike protein
  • Johnson and Johnson used both the PER.C6 cell line and the HEK293T cell line, to produce and assay their Janssen adenovirus vaccine.
  • CanSino Biologics and Gamaleya Research Institute (Sputnik V approved vaccine) use HEK293 cell line.
  • AstraZeneca used the HEK293T cells line, as did CanSino Biologics and Gamaleya Research Institute (Sputnik V vaccine) whose vaccines have been approved.


Vaccine technology raises tremendous ethical, moral, and health concerns, not least  for parents. In the 1960s monkey kidney cells were being used to make the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines however SV40 (simian monkey virus) was discovered in the monkey kidney cells, Tens of millions of American and British children were exposed to the contaminated polio vaccine before the WI-38 human cell line was subsequently used. In the late 1960s, there was concern that a vaccine using human cells could be contaminated with other pathogens and today numerous virologists, molecular biologists and other health care professionals continue to voice concerns about the potential risks of the use of aborted fetal cells.

In January 2018 Professor Stanley Alan Plotkin, Emeritus Professor of the University of Pennsylvania, and Adjunct Professor of the Johns Hopkins University, referred to as ‘the godfather of vaccine’ was subpoenaed to testify in a divorce case where the parents disagreed about vaccination. Plotkin, who worked on developing the rubella vaccine grown on aborted fetal tissue, explained how co-workers harvested the tissues from aborted fetuses, dissected and cultured them; 76 aborted fetuses were studied in order to find one whose cells could be used to make the vaccine. Fetus parts used were from the pituitary gland, skin, kidney, spleen, heart, and tongue.

Professor Plotkin confirmed that todays vaccines for minors contain the following:

  • Monkey kidney cells in polio vaccine
  • Contaminated vaccine/monkey virus (SIMEON VIRUS40)
  • Pig virus in Rotavirus vaccine
  • Blood serum from calves /calf serum
  • Guinea pig culture in Varicella vaccine (chickenpox)
  • Cow’s milk
  • Egg protein in Influenza vaccine
  • Gelatin from pigs
  • Human albumen
  • MRC5 Human diploid (fibroblast cells from fetal tissue)
  • (Varicella, Rubella, HepA)
  • Human W813 (human lung fibroblast)
  • (MMR   MMRV   WI-38 vaccines)

Some live virus vaccines contain human DNA fragments, these include  measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, shingles, rotavirus, adenovirus and rabies, possible consequences of their use are unknown. According to Plotkin, injecting intact DNA is theoretically problematic which is why they fragmented it. Intact human DNA was recently discovered in a vaccine by Corveleva, an independent lab that has been analyzing vaccine contents. DNA can be a concern related to vaccines in two ways — because it is the vaccine’s active ingredient, such as in adenovirus-based vaccines, or as a manufacturing byproduct following growth of vaccine virus in human fetal cells.

Greater transparency is needed and surely we have a right to know what is in vaccines in order to make a decision. Long term effects of vaccines are not part of clinical trials and are not required under current legislation. Section 13 of each vaccine package insert is a disclaimer stating that the vaccine has not been studied to determine if the vaccine can cause genetic mutations, cancer, or impaired fertility. Complacency and misplaced trust is a dereliction of the individual responsibility each of us carry as global citizens.  Confronting the well meaning actions of those entrusted with our care or the smug arrogance of those who believe they know more than they do, requires courage. Safeguarding health is a noble endeavour dependent upon vigilance and compliance with the highest ethics to avoid complacency or the hypocrisy of false refuges which would  ultimately incur a cost too great to bear.

“OUR LIVES BEGIN TO END THE DAY WE BECOME SILENT ABOUT THINGS THAT MATTER”                                                                                       Martin Luther King