Is Covaxin the Pro-Life COVID Vaccine Catholics Have Been Waiting For?

LifeSiteNews published an article three weeks ago, on October 18, on Covaxin, a vaccine (a bona fide inactivated virus vaccine, not an mRNA neologism) developed by Bharat Biotech in India. It could potentially prove a breakthrough in many Catholics’ long wait for a vaccine that would satisfy the dual concerns of ethical unimpeachability and medical safety. This is because, in addition to being a standard, true-blue vaccine (cultured in cell lines derived from monkey tissue), Covaxin also has—as yet—no known connection to cell lines derived from aborted fetal tissue. 

The World Health Organization, of course, exhibited a slow pace in granting Covaxin its Emergency Use Listing (EUL); the WHO finally did so on November 3. EUL is important as far as international travel restrictions are concerned, since countries’ health authorities (like the Centers for Disease Control) have based their recommendations for travel restrictions (which governments then follow) on the WHO’s EUL status. Prior to the approval, people in India vaccinated with Covaxin were unable to engage in travel to regions restricted by vaccine pass requirements. So, the news about Covaxin seems very good, but we should be cautious.

The Charlotte Lozier Institute, a pro-life bioethics advocacy group, has maintained and updated a chart with information on the ethicality of all COVID-19 vaccines being developed. It contains separate evaluations of the ethics of each vaccine’s development, in production and testing, and it is linked here. In all three of Charlotte Lozier’s categories, Covaxin has continued to be clean throughout its development and release timeline this past year.

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But Catholics and pro-lifers have been hoping for a seeming godsend like Covaxin ever since the first “vaccines” came out just after the U.S. presidential election last year…to no avail. Novavax, for a time a candidate on both the medically palatable (since it, too, is an old-fashioned vaccine) and ethically clean counts, soon proved a nonstarter, since it was in fact revealed that tests were made using cell lines from aborted children’s tissue.

Such a development—the release of a totally ethically clean and widely available COVID-19 vaccine that, handily, would not come with bundled health risks—may prove a chimera. In other words, we just can’t trust that we know all of what was done during Covaxin’s development, particularly in the testing phase. Complete information is difficult to find, and something might come up that shows abortion-derived cell line testing was done for Covaxin as well. It could turn out to be another Novavax. Or Inovio. Or Sanofi-GSK.

In any case, such a longed-for vaccine does not appear to be looked favorably upon by the globalist cabal: Pfizer and Moderna get the big-money deals throughout the world, with the blessing of the United States and WHO, while other vaccine manufacturers have more trouble peddling their products at large. Having lodged themselves in the market first through gumption and funding, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson are unlikely to let other vaccines, pro-life or not, just roll into their claimed territory.

Jose Trasancos of Children of God for Life, another Catholic bioethics group, commented in August that truly ethical vaccines are probably not coming and that we should be ready to deal with the consequences. It may be that he is right. 

So, should we still be holding on to hope for an available, ethical, pro-life vaccine? If so, is Covaxin the answer? Some of us (I, as a young, healthy man, might be so inclined myself) might say that, since even such a welcome development as the ability to receive an ethically unimpeachable vaccine would validate the elites’ avowed agenda of mandating vaccination for mandating’s sake, we shouldn’t bank on it. The vaccines would be superfluous anyway from a health standpoint, and it would just facilitate caving in to a wholly other type of unethical behavior on the part of those in charge. 

But there are at-risk (elderly and sickly) people who truly would benefit from receiving a vaccine, and they shouldn’t have to tread the thin line of Church-approved passive remote cooperation and dabble in complicated and depressing arguments of moral theology to feel comfortable being inoculated. It is true that the availability of medical means is always a positive good—when the means themselves are ethically sound, that is, and it is not the case that the use of those means is always positive—and so it is only Christian of us to hope that unalloyedly pro-life vaccines for COVID-19 eventually arrive and are made widely available, hopefully supplanting all others. We should be praying for that outcome. And it may be that Covaxin is already becoming the answer to that prayer.

But it may also not be so. It may be that Covaxin is a mirage like the others before it. Or it may be that Covaxin is in fact pristine but never becomes available in the United States or other countries where Big Pharma is well entrenched. In that case, we should be prepared to weather the increasingly uncomfortable, restrictive, and stunting situations that the powers that be are intending to create for the unrepentant unvaccinated—like not being able to travel or even losing a job. Doing so will prove an entirely appropriate witness in such times. (Since we all want to be white martyrs at least.)

As a final thought, let’s think about how this—the ethics—should be the primary issue for us who resent and dissent regarding the vaccines and mandates and the whole megillah. It is not primarily about protecting our health from adverse side effects (though when the efficacy and safety issues are brought up in the context of large-scale implementation, a whole new set of ethical questions does arise). It is neither primarily about protecting our Constitutional or human freedoms—though that is a legitimate concern. In fact, it is about human life—and the moral imperative to defend it with, as the Church once called for, “maximum determination.”

The truth is that we should never have been caught in this situation. The Church, not too long ago, had the moral authority that would have brought the medical-industrial complex to its knees had it attempted to force the whole world to cooperate, even passively and remotely, in abortion and its insidious residue. That we are now in such a discombobulated, confused, and hideously miasmatic quagmire of practical and theological controversy is the sign of a world and a Church utterly swamped by diabolism.

Covaxin won’t save us therefrom.

[Photo Credit: Hindustan Times]


  • Tad Wójcik

    Tad Wójcik is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Linguistics and a minor in Philosophy. He has also completed language programs in Hakodate, Japan, and at the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. He has worked for Inside the Vatican magazine and Regnery Publishing and is currently the Mission Research Specialist for Human Life International in Front Royal, Virginia.

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