COVID-19 Watch FACT CHECK Health

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: COVID-19 vaccines do NOT contain ‘chopped parts’ of aborted fetuses

A United Kingdom (U.K.)-based Filipina vlogger falsely claimed body parts of newly-aborted fetuses are chopped up and grown in laboratories to make COVID-19 vaccines.

The claim, stated in a May 18 video posted on Facebook (FB) page Lynn Channel Warriors of Truth, is false.

Walang chop-chop na fetus ang mga bakuna. Ang mga COVID-19 vaccines ay hindi naglalaman ng mga cells ng mga ipinalaglag na sanggol,” the Department of Health (DOH) said in a May 20 advisory that debunked Lynn Channel’s claim.

(Translation: There are no chopped up fetuses in vaccines. COVID-19 vaccines don’t contain cells of aborted babies.)

In the Philippines, vaccines made by biopharmaceutical companies Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac Biotech, and Gamaleya Research Institute are currently being used to inoculate people against COVID-19. (Read: VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Getting to know the COVID-19 vaccine prospects in the Philippines)

The jabs developed by the four companies do not list fetal cell lines, fetus cells, or fetus tissue as ingredients.

The erroneous video surfaced as the country faced the twin problems of vaccine hesitancy and vaccine preference, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte himself to order local officials not to disclose the vaccine brand that will be administered to the public. And he admonished the public not to be choosy.

The government hopes to achieve herd immunity by November 2021 but supply problems, the slow rollout of the vaccines as well as hesitancy could derail this.

The latest video by Lynn Channel Warriors of Truth has 42,000 views and 5,900 interactions on FB as of publishing. It has mostly been shared by private FB users. The blogger behind the FB page has a history of spreading disinformation, urging Filipinos not to believe in the COVID-19 pandemic and to not trust COVID-19 vaccines.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)