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  • Bola Kwame

We Could've Had COVID-19 Vaccines Without Animal Testing At All

Animal testing… many of us don’t even think about it or consider how pervasive it is in our lives. And when the thought does cross our minds this is the sort of thing that we envisage:




Sadly, this is far from the insidious and unnecessary cruelty that is animal testing. A month ago, the scandalous short film Save Ralph shocked the world and went viral in a matter of hours. Their goal: to raise awareness about animal testing and cruelty-free cosmetic products through a campaign of the same name.


It only took one animated rabbit and a few minutes and with that hundreds of thousands of people began to check if their shampoos were made without animal testing. When many did not even know that the cosmetics they always buy are tested on rabbits, mice and other animals, they soon began demanding that companies stop testing on animals. The campaign seemed to be successful, but several weeks have passed and there doesn’t seem to be much progress so far. Did everyone forget about Ralph?





The big pharma companies would not sit idly by and they gave their answer. They used the fear generated by the COVID-19 pandemic to reinforce the need for animal testing to have a vaccine. They even began to insist to legislators and politicians that they should direct more funds to primate researchers. Their point: without experiments on monkeys we would not have vaccines for COVID-19.


Many fell for it, and sadly (but not surprisingly) it was nothing but a lie.


Animal testing is more of a tradition than a necessity

The promoters of primate research have claimed that these tests are essential for us to have medicines and vaccines that save millions of lives every year, a necessary evil. They have even pushed for governments to further support experiments in monkeys and other non-human primates. However, these claims are backed only by fear and misinformation and have zero scientific evidence. The truth is that when we look at the numbers, everything indicates that animal testing was totally unnecessary to develop COVID-19 vaccines.


Hundreds of tests have been done for vaccines that could potentially treat HIV/AIDS in monkeys and chimpanzees, and the results have been very positive … for monkeys and chimpanzees, for humans, the results have not been favorable. On the contrary, some HIV vaccines increase the chance of contracting AIDS. What does this mean? That although the experiments are effective in animals, it does not mean that the vaccines work in humans.





Not only that, it has been proven that testing non-human primates are not at all effective in developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, hepatitis, cancer, or cardiovascular attacks.


To bring the point home, here a few more statistics. Nine out of ten drugs that are shown to be effective in animals such as rabbits and rats are ineffective in humans. That means that if you develop 5 drugs that cure cancer in rats, chances are that none of them will work for us.


When it comes to vaccines, the numbers are even lower. Only six out of 100 vaccines that are tested in primates work for humans and many of them are still being brought to market. That doesn’t make sense, does it?


Although all of these numbers indicate exactly the opposite, pro-testing pharma companies continue to insist that animal testing is necessary to develop vaccines and medicines.


Animals were ineffective in testing the COVID-19 vaccines, but they used them anyways

If scientists and researchers already know that animals do not help to find cures, why do they continue to use them?


Well, because they are required by law. No vaccine can begin to be tested in humans without first being implemented in animals. These regulations have not been updated and have been supported more by tradition than scientific evidence.





As big pharma and research centers were in the rush to develop the COVID-19 vaccine, they noted that animal testing would be completely useless. You see, the animals that are usually used for testing do not experience the Coronavirus in the same way as humans, in fact, they hardly suffered from it.


For some rats to start showing symptoms of COVID-19, they had to be genetically modified to do so, and even then, the symptoms were always very mild. So obviously the vaccine would not come from testing on animals. That saved them from undergoing tests? No, because the researchers had to do it anyway, just because the protocols say so.


AstraZeneca’s vaccines had to go through animal trials, even knowing that these would not help, just to be able to get the green light to start humans testing trials.


In fact, Moderna was one of the first companies to start human trials. Do you know how they did it? They skipped animal trials completely. Today, it is one of the most widely used COVID-19 vaccines and with the lowest percentage of side effects. If animal testing is so necessary, how was this accomplished Well… because they were never needed, and thanks to COVID-19 a lot of the bureaucracy and red tap was ignored, so no animal testing.


Human tests are profoundly more useful

Research and experiments prove it: the behavior of diseases, drugs, medications and vaccines is very different in animals and humans. Increasingly, animal tests are less helpful in achieving positive results, and even appear to be a hindrance to researchers when forced to do so anyway. Much faster and more successful techniques have been developed to test drugs in human tissue, such as cloning human cells in which trials can be performed. The efforts of animal testing promoters seem to be motivated by stubbornness, and only seem to make more animals suffer unfairly and medical and pharmaceutical achievements only lag behind. It is as if they want us to continue using typewriters instead of using computers.


The fight to end animal testing is not a whim, even if you don’t give a damn about animals, you might want the drugs you take and the vaccines they inject you to be better tested. The campaign to save Ralph is a necessity more than ever.




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