When state health officer Jason Eberhart-Phillips briefed the Kansas State Board of Education on the H1N1 virus last week, board member Kathy Martin of Clay Center asked him whether human embryonic stem cells were being used in the vaccine's development, suggesting that people might refuse vaccinations if that were the case. He assured her the vaccine is being developed using chicken eggs. A Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokeswoman later told The Eagle editorial board in an e-mail: "Current supplies of seasonal influenza vaccine are manufactured by growing the influenza virus in eggs. The novel H1N1 virus has been reported as growing well in eggs, and the same manufacturing techniques are being used as with seasonal influenza vaccine." Although the research on some vaccines has involved components derived from human fetuses, to the consternation of the Vatican, that's not the case with the vaccines for either seasonal or H1N1 flu.
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