Sunday, August 29, 2004

I am speechless....

Below is a paragraph from a data sheet about Merck's MMRII vaccine. I have highlighted the sentence which troubles me...

M-M-R II is a sterile lyophilised preparation of (1) ATTENUVAX* (Measles Virus Vaccine Live, MSD), a more attenuated line of measles virus, derived from Enders' attenuated Edmonston strain and propagated in chick embryo cell culture; (2) MUMPSVAX* (Mumps Virus Vaccine Live, MSD), the Jeryl Lynn (B level) strain of mumps virus propagated in chick embryo cell culture; and (3) MERUVAX* II (Rubella Virus Vaccine Live, MSD), the Wistar RA 27/3 strain of live attenuated rubella virus propagated in WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts.

Human diploid - that means the cells are from a human embryo. (Or, I think it is more accurate to say that this means "cells from an aborted fetus.")

From what I can gather to this point, the Varicella vaccine (Varilrix by GlaxoSmithKline and Varivax by Merck) are also obtained this way.

Looking into other vaccines... and calling my kids' pediatrician on Monday!

I am not sure where I stand on all of this because I don't know enough about these "cell lines," specifically MRC-5 and WI-38. I would like to find out more about these, as well as something that was referred to as a "continuous VERO cell line." Is there anybody out there who already knows something about this and can direct me to some good resources?


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