Following the release of a Project Veritas video interview with a Pfizer “whistleblower,” social media posts suggested that it revealed the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine contained aborted fetal cells.
In the video, Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe speaks with a Pfizer employee who shared emails from February 2021 in which Pfizer communications and senior employees discuss the company’s desire not to highlight the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine’s uses of fetal cell lines in development.
The supposed bombshell scoop has been public knowledge for over a year now: The Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, along with the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, were tested on fetal cells derived from HEK293, a cell line created from kidney tissue taken from an abortion believed to have been aborted in the 1970s (though according to Professor Frank Graham, the scientist who established the cell line, the origin is unknown and may have come from a miscarriage). The initial epithelial cells from the fetus multiplied and created “descendent” cells, which have been used in medical testing in the decades since.
HEK293 derived cells are extremely common in drug testing: even basic pain relievers like Tylenol, Advil, Aspirin, and Aleve were created thanks to testing with cells derived from this cell line.
The information found in the emails O’Keefe shares was already public enough that last winter saw religious discussion and debate over the morality of taking a vaccine that utilized aborted fetal cell line descendents in testing versus a vaccine that was made with aborted fetal cells. (The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines used HEK293T cells in testing only, not the development of the vaccine, whereas the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is produced using HEK293T cells.) The emails quoted in the Project Veritas video even cite the Vatican giving approval for Catholics to take vaccines developed with aborted fetal cell lines when no other options are available, an event that occurred in December 2020. Going back even further, a September 2020 paper detailed the use of HEK293T cells in the testing of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
The Project Veritas video neither shows nor claims to show that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine contains fetal cells, only reasserting what has already been publicly known since 2020. Claims that the Project Veritas video shows the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine contains aborted fetal cells are even more inaccurate.
If you have a claim you would like to see us fact check, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to suggest a correction to this piece or any other Dispatch article, please email email@example.com.