Due to dwindling capacity for existing aborted fetal cell lines to self-replicate, scientists in China have developed a new aborted fetal cell line, WALVAX 2 that will be used for viral vaccine production. The existing cell lines, MRC-5 and WI-38 are currently used in MMR, Varicella, Hepatitis-A, Shingles, some rabies and some polio vaccines.
WALVAX 2 is taken from the lung tissue of a 3 month gestation female who was ultimately selected from among 9 aborted babies. The scientists noted how they followed specific guidelines to mimic WI-38 and MRC-5 in selecting the aborted babies, ranging from 2-4 months gestation. They further noted how they induced labor using a “water bag” abortion to shorten the delivery time and prevent the death of the fetus to ensure live intact organs which were immediately sent to the labs for cell preparation.
Working with Bill Gates’ GAVI, The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) has been working with Chinese suppliers to support their applications for WHO pre-qualification for several vaccine candidates for the last two years, says Joshua Chu, CHAI’s Director, Vaccines Markets.