Top 5 Facts About Covid-19 Vaccines

Issue 1 of The Real News (which may be downloaded for free from this link) includes a brief article titled Top 5 Facts About Covid-19 Vaccines which was not completely referenced due to lack of space.

The following is a properly referenced version of the article.

Top 5 Facts About Covid-19 Vaccines

1. Covid-19 vaccines are being rushed into production and some of these vaccines will be on the market in Australia and New Zealand in months, or even years, prior to the expected completion of the clinical trials of some of the vaccines. [1a] [1b]

2. In the case of some of the clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccines, the manufacturers are funding the trials of the vaccines – and employees of the manufacturers are writing the articles for the scientific journals about the vaccines that their employer is developing. [2]

3. Some of the Covid-19 vaccines that are being rushed into production are being manufactured using technologies that have never before been used to mass produce vaccines for use in humans. [3a] [3b]

4 The Covid-19 vaccines are so new that there is no or very little information available about the safety of these vaccine for many people.  (For example, women of childbearing age are recommended to have a pregnancy test to ensure that they are NOT pregnant prior to receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine – presumably because the risks to the health of the mother or developing baby from receiving this vaccine during pregnancy are unknown.)

Information for health professionals in Great Britain also states that breastfeeding women should not be vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine as it was not known if the vaccine would be excreted in breastmilk and that there is no data on its use in children under the age of 16.  [4]

Ed note: The information about pregnancy, above, was based on a document intended for British health professionals. Since this article was written and published in Issue 1 of The Real News, revisiting the link referenced as [4] shows that the advice to British health professionals has now changed. Accordingly a new article specifically on Covid vaccination and pregnancy that discusses the change in advice is now available at the following link:

5. The quality of the design of the clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccines has varied with some trials using a proper placebo made from a saline solution (which makes for a more accurate assessment of the risks of a vaccine) but others (such as a trial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine) have used another vaccine as a “placebo” (which makes it much more difficult to get a good assessment of the true rate of short term side effects from a vaccine). [5]

Please scroll down for references and notes – Ed

Issue 1 of The Real News may be downloaded for free from our home page at and printed magazines may be purchased at this link:

References and Notes

[1a] The NZ and Australian government have both ordered the Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine and the NZ government expects to have it available by the first quarter of 2021 which is several months prior to the “Estimated Primary Completion Date” for trials of this vaccine (and about two years before any of the participants will have been followed for the up to two years follow up period specified in the study protocol). The trial began on April 29, 2020. (Accessed December 2, 2020)

[1b] As another example, information about a Phase 1/2a clinical trial of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine Ad26.COV2.S in healthy people is posted on the website.  The study is listed as due to begin on July 15, 2020 but the “Estimated Primary Completion Date” is September 15, 2021 and the “Estimated Study Completion Date” is February 2, 2024.

The Phase 3 trials of this vaccine are not due for completion until March 10, 2023.

The NZ government has ordered up to 5 million doses of this vaccine, which is expected to be available from the “third quarter” of 2021.

[2] As an example: In September 2020, the medical journal Nature Medicine publishes an article titled: “Ad26 vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2 severe clinical disease in hamsters”.

The study showed that the vaccine did not reliably protect against infection with the virus but did protect “against SARS-CoV-2-induced weight loss, pneumonia and mortality”. 

Five of the authors of the study state that they are “co-inventors on related vaccine patents” while another four of the authors “are employees of Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV and hold stock in Johnson & Johnson”.

[3a] For example, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that has been ordered by the NZ and Australian markets is made using mRNA technology.  This type of vaccine essentially hijacks the protein production machinery of cells (called ribosomes) and gets them to produce a protein from SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19.

As a class, mRNA vaccines can be essentially considered experimental as there are no mRNA vaccines that have been in general use in the human population to date.

[3b] Another example of Covid-19 vaccines that are being manufactured using technology that use a production method that have never before been used to mass produce vaccines for people are a type of vaccine known as “viral vector” vaccines based on genetically modified adenoviruses.  (Adenoviruses are a class of viruses that can affect humans and some animals and cause a spectrum of illness from mild to severe depending upon the virus and the host.)

The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine (which has been ordered by the NZ government for use in NZ) and the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine (which has been ordered by the NZ and Australian governments) are both viral vector vaccines.

Each of the above viral vector vaccines contain genetically modified adenoviruses that have been grown on cells line derived from aborted human foetuses.

When a viral vector vaccine is injected, the genetically modified viruses it contains deliver a piece of DNA from the target organism into the body. 

In the case of the viral vector vaccines being developed for Covid-19 the genetically modified adenoviruses include the genetic code (DNA) for the SARS-Cov-2 spike protein.  When these viruses are injected into the body, they deliver the viral DNA into the nucleus of the cell and the cell produces the viral protein, thus triggering an immune response.   

*The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine (ordered by the NZ government) is based on a human adenovirus known as Ad26.  The virus is cultured on an “immortalised” line of human cells derived from the eyes of an 18 week old foetus. This cell line is known as “PER.C6”. (See below.)  

*The Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine (ordered by the Australian and NZ governments) uses a chimpanzee adenovirus which was reported sourced from chimpanzee faeces.  The chimpanzee viruses are cultured using another aborted foetal cell line known as HEK 293.  “HEK” is an acronym for human embryonic kidney”. (See below.)

Re the NZ government ordering the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine:

Re Australia ordering the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine:

Re the “PER C6” cell line from the retinal cells of the 18 week old aborted foetus: See and

According to an FDA document, the “PER C6” has the dubious distinction of being the “first tumorigenic cell line to be considered for use in the production of a live viral vaccine”. (The vaccine was a ”replication-defective adenovirus vectored HIV-1 vaccine (VRBPAC 2001)” that never seems to have gone into commercial production.) A tumorigenic cell line is one that is capable of forming tumours when injected into an “immunocompromised rodent”.

While there should not be any whole PER.C6 cells in any vaccine made using these cells there is concern that residual DNA from tumorigenic cell lines (which cannot be entirely removed from vaccines) may be oncogenic (a potential cause of tumours).

Re the “HEK 293” cell line from the kidney of an aborted foetus:

Re the source of the chimpanzee adenovirus:

Further note: Ad26 is for sale on the international market and its source is “Presumed from anal specimen from 9-month-old male, Washington, DC, 1956”

[4] This information sheet provides guidance to UK health professionals about the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine:

In relation to the negative pregnancy test requirement for women of child-bearing age prior to receiving the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, the petition to the European Medicines Agency by a medical doctor and a researcher who previously worked for Pfizer is very interesting. The petition asks that the European Medicines Agency to stop the trials of the vaccine for several reasons, including the risk that the vaccine could cause female infertility. See: (Based on the petition text, it appears that the vaccine could potentially cause miscarriage if administered to pregnant women.)

[5] For example, this article about a trial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine shows that a meningitis vaccine was used as a “placebo”.
By contrast a proper saline placebo was used in the trial of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine candidate known as “BNT162b1” according to the not-yet-peer reviewed paper at this link:

Website editor’s note: Every effort has been made to ensure this article is factually correct. However Covid-19 vaccines have come to the market so recently that new information about these products is reported almost daily. Please also note that the articles on this website that cover any health-related topic are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified health professional.