Updated: August 27, 2020 06:39 AM GMT
Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney debating at Sydney University, 2003 (Photo: Wikipeadia.org)
Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney joined other Christian leaders in Australia to urge the government to distribute a Covid-19 vaccine that does not use aborted human fetus cells.Archbishop Fisher, Anglican Archbishop Glenn Davies of Sydney and Greek Orthodox Primate of Australia Archbishop Makarios wrote to the Australian government on Aug. 20 expressing their concerns, Catholic News Agency reported Aug. 24.The letter said a vaccine the government plans to distribute “will raise serious issues of conscience for a proportion of our population” because of its reported use of human fetus cells. Archbishop Fisher, in a column in Sydney’s The Catholic Weekly, urged the government to fund the distribution of an ethical vaccine for Covid-19.“I’m a strong advocate of vaccinations – and not just for Covid-19 – as long as they are safe and ethically obtained,” the archbishop wrote in the column titled “Let’s not create an ethical dilemma.”“There are ethically untainted alternatives: let’s pursue those,” he said.
Last week, the Australian government inked a $24.7 million pact with pharma major AstraZeneca to distribute a Covid-19 once it is developed. The vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, is in the clinical trials phase.The vaccine is reported to have used the cell-line HEK-293, which is “cultured from an selectively aborted human fetus,” Archbishop Fisher said.The U.S. government has also joined hands with AstraZeneca to distribute the vaccine.Archbishop Fisher warned that people in Australia will face “significant pressure to receive it.”