Pediatricians applaud GSK for New Ethical Shingles Vaccine

The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) commends Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) pharmaceutical company for the development of the anti-shingles vaccine, Shingrix, which does not require the use of aborted fetal cell material. Shingrix is a new vaccine recently approved by the FDA for use in the prevention of shingles caused by the varicella virus. It is set to become available in late November. Previously, the only vaccine available was produced by Merck, using aborted fetal cells. The production of Shingrix, in contrast, does not require aborted fetal cell lines.

Studies demonstrated that Shingrix is 97.2 percent effective in people over 50 years old. It also maintained 90 percent efficacy in those 70 years and older, with 95 percent immunity maintained after four years. These results show Shingrix to be far superior in its efficacy to the previous vaccine made with aborted fetal cells by Merck.

Dr. Patty June, Executive Committee member for the Board of the American College of Pediatricians, stated,

“We are grateful to Glaxo SmithKline for this innovation and urge them to enter trials and seek FDA approval for primary prevention of the varicella virus (chickenpox) for children. [Chickenpox is caused by the same virus – varicella – that causes shingles.] As soon as it is approved for prevention of chickenpox in children, I will prefer its use over the use of Varivax and urge our fellow pediatricians and health departments to do the same.”

ACPeds urges all vaccine manufacturers to seek ethical alternatives to all current vaccines produced with the use of aborted fetal cells. Based upon correspondence sent to us from vaccine hesitant parents, this would encourage some of them to fully comply with current CDC immunization recommendations.

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