Real Journalism by Leeds Hacks

Vegans reluctant to take Covid-19 vaccine due to animal testing

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Photo by Braňo
Some vegans and animal rights advocates are refusing or reluctant to take the Covid-19 vaccine due to it being tested on animals.

Rowan McWilliams, a student in Leeds, said it would be “contradictory” for him to take the vaccine as a vegan.

The Vegan Society is encouraging its members to have the vaccine and have said that they recognise it is “not always possible to avoid animal use”.

The Animal (scientific procedures) Act (1986) states that animal testing for medical purposes is legally required before going to human trials in the U.K.

Mice and chimps

AstraZeneca has confirmed that their Coronavirus vaccine was tested on mice and chimps before reaching human clinical trials.

The AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine itself, however, does not contain any animal components.

Georgia Pangratiou, Structural Virologist, has said that clinical trialling is “essential” before the vaccine reaches the public.

“They would never put something into a human without having tested it on animals first,” she said.

Matthew Wilson, from Leeds, said: “I’m vegan and I’ll have the vaccine as soon as I possibly can.

“My beliefs are my own and are informed by my ethics where I want to do less harm during my time on this planet.

“That means to other people, and that means I have a moral responsibility to be inoculated and make sure I’m not capable of passing this virus on to other people.”

The Vegan Society

The Vegan Society has been campaigning in the hopes that animal testing in the UK will be ended.

The Vegan Society representative, Sabrina Ahmed, said: “We recognise that it is not always possible to avoid animal use, which is particularly relevant to medical situations.

“The vaccination is going to play a fundamental role in tackling the pandemic and saving lives.”

Some vegans are willing to have the vaccination, despite it being animal tested.

Vegan Society member, Becky Wilding said: “I’m vegan, I’d have the vaccine. It’s about the health and safety of others too, not just myself.

“All official UK meds are trialled on animals (sadly) so I’d also have to stop taking antiDees, anti convulsants, and the prescription painkillers that I also take every day or I’d be a hypocrite.”

Coronavirus Statistics

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UK has reported over 4m cases of Covid-19 with 117,160 of these cases resulting in death. 

Figures on show that 15,300,151 people have already had the first vaccination, with 539,630 having had the second vaccination too.

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