In this short video, Dr. Stanley Plotkin explains how fetal cells from the 1960s can still be used today when making vaccines.
How Can We Still Use a Fetal Cell Line from the 1960s to Make Vaccines Today?
I am Stanley Plotkin, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about the use of fetal cells to make vaccines. In fact, the only fetal cells that are used to make vaccines go back to two fetuses, one from Sweden and one from England, that came from mothers who no longer wished to have their pregnancies. Those cells were transferred to Philadelphia where they were cultivated, and by cultivation I mean that they were caused to multiply again and again and then stored in freezers. So, the use of fetal cells to grow vaccine viruses is based solely on those two fetuses. The point is that you can start with one single cell and multiply it again and again and then freeze all of those cells with which you can then make vaccines. So, we no longer need new fetuses to provide life-saving vaccines made in fetal cells.
Related Centers and Programs: Vaccine Education Center
Last Reviewed on Jan 10, 2020