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Epidemiologist’s response to ‘ethical dilemma’ raised by religious leaders

An epidemiologist has responded to the concerns raised by religious figures who say there is an “ethical dilemma” caused by Oxford University coronavirus vaccine.

In a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a number of leading figures encouraged other options instead of the frontrunner vaccine, which uses cell lines from an aborted foetus.

Deakin University Chair in Epidemiology Professor Catherine Bennett explained no new tissue is being harvested.

“It was 55 or more years ago in the early 60s they worked out the method to establish what we call cell lines,” she told Deborah Knight.

“So this is perpetual cells that can be used instead of using animals or other things to culture the virus in the laboratory or in that vaccine process.

“Nothing is done in science, particularly if it relates to humans in any way, without a really strict ethical process.

“This also has a nearly 50 year tradition and is considered to be acceptable, and separated from the initial source of the very initial cells.”

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Image: Getty