These are vaccines which are, or will be, distributed.
In addition, numerous other types of medical therapies, such as monoclonal antibody cancer therapies manufactured on these lines, are in development.
In addition to a viable cell culture line, the researchers needed a strain of the rubella virus which had been demonstrated to cross the placenta and successfully infect an unborn child.
A word on the reason for rubella immunization is in order here.
This essay will review the vaccination issue for the uninitiated, and go through the Vatican letter in some detail.
However, up until now the discussion has largely been confined to a handful of vaccines used in routine pediatric vaccination programs, and so the moral issues have been largely confined to parents of vaccination - age children.The researchers were specifically looking for parents with no medical problems either in themselves or (presumably) their unborn child, but who wanted to abort the baby for "social reasons"; the social reason usually given was, "too many children".The abortions were, of course, in Sweden, as abortion at that time was illegal in the U. It took the researchers 37 attempts - representing 20 Swedish abortions - to develop a cell line that grew; this successful line was designated Wistar Insitute 38: WI-38.After some thought, I have decided to reproduce an essay I published last fall in the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly here.There is a little risk in this, because it will also be a chapter in my book, and one can only reproduce the same material so many times.But we will begin by discussing vaccines, and given the occasionally contentious nature of the topic of vaccination, I need to make perfectly and explicitly clear a couple of items right up front.First, I acknowledge the usefulness, in general, of vaccination and mass vaccination programs.The first vaccine, rubella, is usually given as a component of the combined measles/mumps/rubella vaccine M-M-R II (Merck.), and the rubella vaccine component uses a live, attenuated rubella virus strain designated RA 27/3, grown in the human diploid cell line WI-38. The rubella vaccine is also available as a single injection from the same manufacturer under the trade name MERUVAX, and also uses the WI-38 cell line. The measles and mumps vaccine components in the combination M-M-R II vaccines are grown in chick embryo cultures, and therefore don't present a moral problem.The second major vaccine is a vaccine against varicella, VARIVAX (Merck).Introduced in 1995, it uses both the WI-38 and MRC-5 human cell lines. A new combination vaccine comprised of M-M-R II and a beefed up version of VARIVAX, trade name Pro Quad (Merck) was licensed by the FDA 6 September 2005.In addition to the rubella and varicella vaccines, there are other vaccines which, though not part of the pediatric series, are in routine use and do use "tainted" cell lines.The vaccines against Hepatitis A, known as HAVRIX (Glaxo Smith Kline Biologicals) and VAQTA (Merck), both utilize the MRC-5 human diploid fibroblast cell line to culture their Hepatitis A viral strain; the viral particles are then inactivated and suspended for injection.