The Corner

Health Care

Moderna COVID Vaccine Did Not Use Fetal Cells

A health worker works with blood samples during a coronavirus vaccination study at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Fla., September 24, 2020. (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Moderna has announced a vaccine for COVID that is 94.5 percent effective, developed in association with the NIH. This is a triumph for Operation Warp Speed and will redound to the benefit of President Trump’s legacy for anyone with a fair perspective. From the Washington Post story:

Moderna’s vaccine, co-developed with Fauci’s institute, is being tested in 30,000 people. Half received two doses of the vaccine, and half received a placebo. To test how well the vaccine works, physicians closely monitored cases of covid-19 to see whether they predominantly occurred in people who received the placebo group.

Of the 95 cases of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, 90 were in the group that received the placebo. There were 11 severe cases reported — all in people who received the placebo. With cases of covid-19 confined almost exclusively to trial participants receiving a placebo, that sends a strong signal that the vaccine is effective at thwarting the virus.

The data have not yet been published or peer reviewed, and the overall effectiveness of the vaccine may change as the study continues. But Fauci said the data on severe cases was “quite impressive” and effectively answers a question that has lingered: whether a vaccine measured by its success in preventing any case of covid-19 can prevent the most urgent cases, too.

Some pro-lifers declare that they will not accept a vaccine that uses fetal cell lines taken from aborted fetuses decades ago to culture the virus. Moderna’s new vaccine did not. It is an RNA product and is listed as “ethical” by the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute (updated 11/11/20).

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