You may have seen a story doing the rounds on social media about the new Covid-19 vaccine being made from the cells of aborted babies. Like most rumours on social media, it is just not true. A simple way to check if a story is true is to look it up on Snopes – the fact-checking site. From their entry on this rumour:
A viral video published in late November 2020 re-energized a common anti-vaccine talking point, alleging that AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine “contains” aborted fetal tissue. This conclusion, and other claims like it, are factually inaccurate and stem from a misrepresentation of how this and other vaccines are produced.
It is true that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is created, in part, by growing a modified virus in cells originally derived from embryonic kidney tissue sourced from an abortion performed in the 1970s. Crucially, however, the vaccine does not “contain” this cellular material. The viral molecules grown in these cells are chemically and physically separated from the cells in which they were incubated and do not make it into the final product. Therefore, it is false to claim, as the video does, that the process of being vaccinated for COVID-19 with the AstraZeneca vaccine means being injected with “aborted fetal tissue fragments.”
No matter if you are pro or anti-abortion, the key point is the story is just not true. Some of our politicians need to take 10 seconds to google something before spreading false rumours.
DUP councillor John Carson, who previously faced criticism for claiming the Covid-19 pandemic was God's judgement for abortion reforms and legalising same-sex marriage, now says he won't take a vaccine – claiming it 'contains tissue from aborted babies'.https://t.co/hJcR1K3Nfg
— Brendan Hughes (@brendanhughes64) December 10, 2020
But as we know, facts don’t matter: our opinions are often based on emotion and group affiliation rather than facts. It is next to impossible to get people to change their mind on a topic.
If you are interested Snopes has a very good section on Covid-19 rumours, some of which are even true.
Edit: local site FactcheckNI also have a good post on this issue. The current vaccine being administered in the UK is the Pfizer one which is completely synthetic.
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