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UPDATE: All clinical trials completed! GSK submitted for FDA approval Oct 24, 2016. Stay tuned for further details!
Breaking: New GSK Shingles vaccine in Phase 3 trials – morally produced!
(Largo, FL) Children of God for Life is pleased to announce a new shingles vaccine produced by Glaxo SmithKline called HZ/su that is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials – and it does not use aborted fetal cell lines.
“Finally the public will have a moral option!” said Debi Vinnedge, Children of God for Life’s Executive Director. “This is simply fantastic news for people worldwide who have wanted to protect themselves against shingles but would not compromise their deeply held prolife and religious objections to abortion.”
After an individual has chickenpox, the virus may remain dormant or reactivate as shingles later in life. Shingles can be extremely painful and usually manifests as blisters on the skin or sometimes in the eyes.
Currently, the only US licensed shingles vaccine is Merck’s Zostavax, which contains residual cell components, proteins and DNA from aborted fetal cell line MRC-5. The cell line was derived from the lung tissue of a 14 week gestation male baby, aborted in the UK “for psychiatric reasons”.
Conversely, Glaxo’s HZ/su combines a protein from the chickenpox virus called glycoprotein E with the immune system-boosting QS-21 Stimulon made by Agenus. This unique component is made from the bark of the Quillaja saponaria (soap bark) evergreen tree native to central Chile.
“This is an incredible victory for moral medicine, for Hippocratic ethics, for the family,” said Judie Brown, President of American Life League.
Not only is it ethically produced, from a clinical perspective, GSK’s vaccine is faring considerably better than Merck’s. Trial results are showing an efficacy of 97.2% in adults at least 50 years old (24% were over 70 years of age) and a 90% effective rate in patients 70 and older. 
According to the CDC Merck’s Zostavax is 51% overall effective in preventing shingles; 64% in people 60 through 69 years of age and only 38% in people older than 70. Zostavax protection also wanes within the first 5 years after vaccination, and protection beyond that is uncertain. 
GSK’s vaccine is expected to be submitted for approval in the US by mid 2016.
“We are always quick to complain and slow to praise,” said Vinnedge. “It is so important that people take the time and write to GSK and thank them. There is absolutely no reason why any company should use aborted fetal material when moral alternatives are readily available and we are extremely grateful that GSK is listening to the public and taking the lead!”
Letters or thank you notes can be sent to GSK at the following address:
Sir Andrew Witty, CEO
GSK USA – Philadelphia Navy Yard
5 Crescent Drive
Philadelphia PA 19112