Moderna Covid19 Vaccine and Aborted Fetal Cells: The Science Doesn’t Lie

There have been a number of misleading stories about Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine and whether it uses aborted fetal cells or not. Some say they only used them for testing in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.  That would be true for Pfizer, but not Moderna.   The following links contain all the proof anyone needs to show that the aborted fetal cell line HEK-293 was indeed used extensively by Moderna in numerous patents in the fundamental design of mRNA technology and in the original vaccine research, development, production and testing.

Unlike traditional cell-culture vaccines where viruses are cultivated on a cell line, mRNA vaccines do not use cells for that purpose at all and therefore, there are no cells or cell fragments IN the vaccines.  Some have said that since there are no aborted fetal cells IN the vaccines, they are morally okay.  Nothing could be further from the truth because the aborted fetal cells were most certainly an integral part of Moderna’s vaccine development.

Now some have argued that some of the patents we are citing are not for the actual vaccine, however, that is totally inconsequential because the technology was established using aborted fetal cells.  And it doesn’t matter that the cells are not used over and over again from a moral perspective either. This is also true of the Spike protein produced using HEK-293 cells as well.  Once the protein is built, the cells are not used again.  But the protein IS used – and the mRNA IS used and both were built on technology that extensively used aborted fetal cells, rendering the vaccine absolutely immoral from start to finish.

So let’s take a look at the facts.  Moderna and the NIH worked jointly on the Covid-19 vaccine as announced in several publications in early 2020.  Starting here….
https://www.statnews.com/2020/05/19/vaccine-experts-say-moderna-didnt-produce-data-critical-to-assessing-covid-19-vaccine/

Quoting:
The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases has partnered with Moderna on this vaccine. Scientists at NIAID made the vaccine’s construct, or prototype, and the agency is running the Phase 1 trial.

And
https://www.biocentury.com/article/304254/moderna-novavax-among-biotechs-working-on-novel-virus-but-vaccine-at-least-a-year-out

Quoting: 
NIAID is partnering with Moderna on an mRNA vaccine against 2019-nCoV, Fauci said. “We are taking the gene for the spike protein S and inserting it into a mRNA platform to create a vaccine.”

The Spike protein was part of the NIAID joint venture.  NIH did the Spike S protein –
https://www.drugs.com/clinical_trials/moderna-ships-mrna-vaccine-against-novel-coronavirus-mrna-1273-phase-1-study-18461.html

Quoting: 
“mRNA-1273 is an mRNA vaccine against the novel coronavirus encoding for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein, which was selected by Moderna in collaboration with investigators at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center (VRC)”

So when you look at NIAID’s work – that article is here:
https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/atomic-structure-novel-coronavirus-protein

Quoting: 
Importantly, the new data supports NIAID’s approach to a gene-based vaccine for COVID-19 and will also be useful in other vaccine approaches including protein-based vaccines and other nucleic acid or vector-based delivery approaches. NIAID scientists designed the stabilized spike antigen based on previous knowledge obtained from studying other coronavirus spike structures. NIAID and the biotechnology company Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, are developing a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, which directs the body’s cells to express the spike in its prefusion conformation to elicit an immune response.

And the Materials and Methods show the 293 cells.
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/suppl/2020/02/18/science.abb2507.DC1/abb2507-Wrapp-SM.pdf

And if that is not enough, Moderna’s use of HEK is not new…previous patents in 2015 show its use as well.  Use the Find function and type in HEK in the search…it’s listed 76 times.
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8,999,380.PN.&OS=PN/8,999,380&RS=PN/8,999,380

Also – more here showing how HEK-293 cells are used with the Spike S protein:
https://www.sinobiological.com/research/virus/human-coronavirus-spike

https://www.acrobiosystems.com/P3098-2019-nCoV-%28COVID-19%29-S-protein-Full-Length-%28R683A-R685A%29-His-Tag.html

https://www.biovendor.com/sars-cov-2-spike-glycoprotein-s1-hek293-3

And this article – links to the Moderna patent showing the use of the aborted fetal cells in the lipid nanoparticle delivery system – which is how the mRNA is delivered to the vaccine recipient’s cells.
https://www.ncregister.com/news/measuring-moderna-s-covid-19-vaccine-now-s-the-time-to-press-hard-for-ethical-options

The lipids are also listed as an ingredient of the vaccine:
https://www.precisionvaccinations.com/vaccines/moderna-covid-19-vaccine-mrna-1273

Now, if you still need convincing that Moderna is using HEK-293 cells, this is straight from their own website:
https://www.modernatx.com/newsroom/publications

And from their Publications page, see this link:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41541-020-0163-z

Since it deals with lung infection (which Covid-19 causes) it seems like a pretty good reference to what they are doing.  The use of 293 cells is cited in several places including in the supplementary information.  That is linked here:
https://static-content.springer.com/esm/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41541-020-0163-z/MediaObjects/41541_2020_163_MOESM1_ESM.pdf

The very first paragraph shows the use of 293 cells IN THE CONSTRUCTION. The authors of the study are both Merck and Moderna.

And in July 2020: An mRNA Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 — Preliminary Report
NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2022483

Which clearly states they are using the Spike protein which some have tried to deny.

Under Vaccine – Quoting: 
The mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate, manufactured by Moderna, encodes the S-2P antigen, consisting of the SARS-CoV-2 glycoprotein with a transmembrane anchor and an intact S1–S2 cleavage site. S-2P is stabilized in its prefusion conformation by two consecutive proline substitutions at amino acid positions 986 and 987, at the top of the central helix in the S2 subunit. (8)

And voila – Reference no. 8 at the bottom of the page is none other than:
Wrapp D, Wang N, Corbett KS, et al. Cryo-EM structure of the 2019-nCoV spike in the prefusion conformation. Science 2020;367:1260-1263 – which as shown above clearly uses HEK-293 cells.
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/suppl/2020/02/18/science.abb2507.DC1/abb2507-Wrapp-SM.pdf

In addition, both the Protocol
https://www.nejm.org/doi/suppl/10.1056/NEJMoa2022483/suppl_file/nejmoa2022483_protocol.pdf

And Supplemental Information linked at the bottom of the NEJM article show the use of HEK-293 cells:
https://www.nejm.org/doi/suppl/10.1056/NEJMoa2022483/suppl_file/nejmoa2022483_appendix.pdf

Also the article dated August 2020, clearly shows the use of the HEK293 as well for the mRNA-1273 vaccine.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2622-0

Just a sampling –  page 9 of the Nature article:

MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV Protein Expression and Purification 

Vectors encoding MERS-CoV S-2P1  and SARS-CoV S-2P23 were generated as previously described with the following small amendments.
Proteins were expressed by transfection of plasmids into Expi293 cells using Expifectamine transfection reagent (ThermoFisher) in suspension at 37 °C for 4-5 days. Transfected cell culture supernatants were collected, buffer exchanged into 1X phosphate buffered saline (PBS), and protein was purified using Strep-Tactin resin (IBA). For proteins used for mouse inoculations, tags were cleaved with addition of HRV3C protease (ThermoFisher) (1% wt/wt) overnight at 4 °C. Size exclusion chromatography using Superose 6 Increase column (GE Healthcare) yielded final purified protein.

Design and Production of Recombinant Minifibritin Foldon Protein

The construct was expressed by transient transfection of Expi293 (ThermoFisher) cells in suspension at 37 °C for 5 days. The protein was first purified with a Ni2+-nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) resin (GE Healthcare,) using an elution buffer consisting of 50 mM Tris-HCl, pH 7.5, 400 mM NaCl, and 300 mM imidazole, pH 8.0, followed by purification with StrepTac

Cell Lines

HEK293T/17 (ATCC #CRL-11268), Vero E6 (ATCC), Huh7.5 cells (provided by Deborah R. Taylor, US Food and Drug Administration), and ACE2-expressing 293T cells (provided by Michael Farzan, Scripps

In vitro mRNA Expression

HEK293T cells were transiently transfected with mRNA encoding SARS-CoV-2 WT S or S-2P protein using a TranIT mRNA transfection kit (Mirus). After 24 hr, the cells were harvested and resuspended in FACS buffer (1X PBS, 3% FBS, 0.05% sodium azide). To detect surface protein expression, the cells were stained with 10 µg/mL ACE2-FLAG (Sigma) or 10 µg/mL CR302235 in FACS buffer for 30 min on ice. Thereafter, cells were washed twice in FACS buffer and incubated with FITC anti-FLAG (Sigma) or Alexafluor 647 goat anti-human IgG (Southern Biotech) in FACS buffer for 30 min on ice. Live/Dead aqua fixable stain (Invitrogen) were utilized to assess viability. Data acquisition was performed on a BD LSRII Fortessa instrument (BD Biosciences) and analyzed by FlowJo software v10 (Tree Star, Inc.)