Debunking of Dangerous and False Vaccine Rumors

Uncertainty and Misinformation Vaccines

Thanks to our awesome partner Your local epidemiologist for this science-based debunking of some really dangerous and false vaccine rumors circulating recently.

Update: Your local epidemiologist’s post reached a couple million people. The Facebook algorithm has removed it, so we’re just gonna paste the content here. #FactsMatter

“COVID19 vaccines will destroy our lives”

posted by Dr. Katelyn Jetilina of Your Local Epidemiologist on Feb 1, 2021

Apparently an article is circulating: “COVID19 vaccines will destroy our lives”. And, interestingly, it includes a “fact checked” icon at the top indicating it’s been checked by a credible source.

Well, here is a credible source’s rebuttal…

“The COVID-19 vaccine really isn’t a vaccine in the medical definition of a vaccine”.

This is false. The medical definition is: Vaccine: A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.
This is exactly what the COVID19 vaccine does. All of them, regardless of the biotechnology.

“Since mRNA normally rapidly degrades” (this is true) “it must be complexed with lipids or polymers” (this is true). “COVID19 vaccines use PEGylated lipid nanoparticles and PEG is known to cause anaphylaxis.” (This is correct, but taken out of context.)

PEG has never been used before in an approved vaccine, but it is found in many drugs that have occasionally triggered anaphylaxis. This is particularly true among people who already have high levels of anti-PEG antibodies or experienced severe allergic reactions in the past. Although many types of nanoparticles do have hypersensitivity properties, some newer nanoparticles have been demonstrating ANTI-allergic effects. Controlling the pro and anti-allergic properties of nanoparticles is one of the key elements towards safe use. The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases had a meeting mid-December to discuss the COVID19 vaccine allergic reactions and is conducting several studies on it to better understand why people with previous history may have allergic reactions with Pfizer/Moderna COVID19 vaccines. Nonetheless, since this meeting there have been 50 anaphylaxis cases reported for Pfizer (out of 9.943M doses) and 21 reported for Moderna (out of 7.581M doses). This is an anaphylaxis rate of 5 in 1M people (or 0.000503%). This IS higher than the rate of anaphylactic reactions that happen with any other vaccine (1 in 1M people). But, this IS far less than the 70% claimed in the misinformation article. Also (fun fact) PEG is found in toothpaste and shampoo.

“mRNA can signal danger to your immune system and drive inflammatory diseases”.

I guess this is correct? Although, it’s missing a few key steps. The mRNA instructs our body to create a spike protein then which our bodies make antibodies to. These antibodies then recognize (and, thus, signals danger) if you ever come in contact with the COVID virus. This signal is a good thing, as your body is prepared to fight the virus. If you don’t have this protective signal, then you get an inflammatory disease which has landed more than 93,536 people in the hospital TODAY. Also, you should know you have mRNA floating in your body every second of every day. If free mRNA causes a danger signal, then we are in a lot of trouble (regardless of a vaccine or not).

“Many commonly reported side effects from the COVID19 gene therapy “vaccines” appear to be caused by brain inflammation”.

The writer doesn’t provide any evidence or context behind this claim. They only state it as fact, so I cannot counter it with science. But, no, the vaccine doesn’t cause brain inflammation. We haven’t seen this and more than 98.3 million doses in 62 countries have been administered.

“Anyone with inflammatory disease (…) are at high risk of dying from COVID19 mRNA vaccines”.

This is incorrect. No one’s death has been causally linked to the vaccine.

“Genetic alterations may last for life”

This is false. There are no genetic alterations. At all. The mRNA cannot physically enter the nucleus (which houses our DNA in our cells). Briefly, in order for a mRNA vaccine to alter someone’s DNA, several events would have to occur…

-mRNA would need to enter the cell nucleus, where DNA lives. However, mRNA do not have the “secret door code” (called nuclear access signal) that would allow it to enter. mRNA vaccines can’t get in.

-If the mRNA vaccine did get in (which it won’t), mRNA would have to be then converted to DNA. This would require a tool called “reverse transcriptase”, which the vaccine doesn’t have.

-Also, if it made it into the nucleus, mRNA would then to need to insert itself into the DNA. The mRNA would need a tool called “integrase” to do this, which the vaccine doesn’t have.

Bottom line: I get that we are hesitant. This is the most vaccine hesitancy we’ve ever had; you’re not alone. It’s a trust jump. But it’s a trust jump into decades worth of research and scientists with no ulterior motives other than to save lives and improve the quality of life of our community (and maybe get tenure :)). Please make your decision using an evidence-based, data-driven approach.

Love, YLE

See original post on her blog, here.

Data Sources:

I would like to thank those Nerdy Girls at Dear Pandemic for encouraging me to write this and ensuring me that it wouldn’t fall on deaf ears. Also, for one of them sacrificing her email address so we could actually read the misinformation being passed around (that’s behind a paywall).

This peer-reviewed scientific article talked about PEG.

This one too

And this one too

Vaccine tracker

Anaphylaxis rate

About the author behind this misinformation

Pfizer safety data

Moderna safety data

Long-term effects of the vaccine

The vaccine got to us incredibly fast.

mRNA and our DNA

Deaths and the vaccine

Link to original FB post