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Update..12-03-01:  Acambis/Baxter announces Second Contract for 155 Million Doses of the New Smallpox Vaccine Will Use Vero Cell Lines - not MRC-5

On October 28th, the Washington Post published a seemingly innocuous article that announced our government’s award of a contract to a little known British company, Acambis, to begin producing a new smallpox vaccine.  The article might have passed with barely a yawn, had they not mentioned the new vaccine would be “developed using human fibroblasts.”   Further investigation revealed they would be using the aborted fetal cell line MRC-5 as the cell substrate.

Children of God for Life immediately went to work to alert the public and the media. In a 24-hour on-line poll conducted by WorldNet Daily News to the general population, on November 18th, 56% of the 3,335 respondents said they would refuse the vaccine if it used aborted fetal tissue; 34% said it would not deter them and the remainder were undecided.  Those sort of statistics combined with the already growing half-million people who are currently protesting the existing vaccines and could have meant devastating results.   

Thousands of letters poured in to the offices of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies involved in the contract bids from angry citizens, pleading for alternatives and vowing they would refuse the smallpox vaccine, no matter what the consequences might be. 

Thirty days later on November 29th as our government awarded a second contract to Acambis-Baxter for 155 million more doses of the smallpox vaccine, Acambis CEO John Brown announced at a press conference in the UK, that they would be using the non-tainted Vero cell line, not MRC-5 for these new doses.  Brown stated in a conference earlier today, "The main difference is that in contract one, we are using the MRC-5 cell substrate; in contract two we're going to use the Baxter serum three Vero culture cell."

Children of God for Life immediately contacted both Acambis and Baxter. Margaret Shubney, spokesperson for Baxter confirmed this great news!!  Although they will continue to use MRC-5 for the first 54 million doses, there will be an alternative.  Children of God for Life will be tracking the development and keeping the public informed of which dose is which.

Had this sort of  information been made public 30 years ago when aborted fetal cell lines MRC-5 and WI-38 were being introduced, it is doubtful we would have vaccines today that are grown on these cultures.  But those producing the vaccines have perceived a lack of protest as public acceptance. This latest action should serve as a wake-up call to the pharmaceutical industry and their investors.  If over 50% of those polled refused something as serious as a smallpox vaccine, how many more would protest Chickenpox, MMR and Hepatitis-A if they knew the truth?   We have the ability to make a difference!  Please, let your voices be heard - join the Campaign for Ethical Vaccines.

For more information on the original report from the CDC on this issue go to their website at:

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Last modified: 04/26/12