A Change.org petition to increase vaccination against measles and mumps by working with the religious beliefs of parents has garnered support from the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life education organization in the United States.
American Life League (ALL) joined the call urging Merck to make available the single-dose versions of its measles and mumps vaccines. Currently, the measles vaccine from Merck is only available combined with mumps and rubella. The rubella portion of the combination vaccine was created from aborted fetal cell lines, according to a ALL press release Thursday.
“Merck is denying parents the choice of obtaining an ethical measles vaccine,” stated Judie Brown, president of American Life League. “According to Children of God for Life, outbreaks of measles, such as at the California Disney parks, have been on the increase ever since Merck discontinued the ethical single-dose vaccine in 2008.”
Debi Vinnedge, president of Children of God for Life, explained that there are a large number of parents who do not vaccinate their children for measles due to there being no ethical version of the vaccine available. “Ninety-nine percent of the parents I encounter just want the moral versions of measles and mumps vaccines,” Vinnedge stated. “If Merck were to make the ethical single-dose vaccines available again, vaccine coverage would increase significantly.”
Four vaccines are made from embryonic cells obtained from two elective abortions performed in the early 1960s. The two cell lines derived from those abortions are called WI38 and MRC5. These two cell lines are used to make the rubella, hepatitis A, varicella, and one of the rabies vaccines.
Debi Vinnedge has already asked the Church, through its policy making body The Pontifical Academy for Life, to comment on the use of vaccines made using cells from abortions performed about 50 years ago. When she asked, the head of the Academy of Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI.
Although Ratzinger decried the use of these cells at the time researchers made vaccines, he made it very clear that Catholics should vaccinate their children with these vaccines. I talk about this at some length in the book VACCINATED: ONE MAN’S QUEST TO DEFEAT THE WORLD’S DEADLIEST DISEASES.