The return of the revenge of “COVID-19 mRNA vaccines permanently alter your DNA” and “lab leak”
Claims that COVID-19 vaccines "permanently alter your DNA" or that SARS-CoV-2 was engineered in a lab were resurrected last week based on two dubious studies. No matter how many times you think these myths have been debunked, they always come back for another installment of the same misinformation franchise.
What the heck happened to The BMJ?
Last week, The BMJ published an "exposé" by Paul Thacker alleging patient unblinding, data falsification, and other wrongdoing by a company running three sites for the massive clinical trial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. It was a highly biased story embraced by antivaxxers, with a deceptively framed narrative and claims not placed into proper context, leading me to look into the broader...
Yes, the FDA really HAS given full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
After the FDA announcement a week ago that Comirnaty, the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, had been approved, it took less than a day for antivaxxers to spin a conspiracy theory claiming that the FDA hadn't really approved the Pfizer vaccine at all and that Comirnaty wasn't available, all to protect Pfizer from liability. It's a superficially plausible conspiracy...
To unblind or not to unblind? That is the question about clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines
Antivaccine alternative health tycoon Joe Mercola claims that the unblinding of participants in the clinical trials of Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines was intended to "blow up the trials" and undermine the science, making it impossible ever to identify long term adverse events. What he's really doing is deceptively oversimplifying complex ethical and scientific issues surrounding these trials in the middle of...
COVID-19 vaccines versus “purity of essence”
Antivaxxers frequently make the false claim that mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines "permanently alter your DNA". These claims are really a concern about "impurifying" their "purity of essence".
Antivaxxers, COVID-19 vaccines, and “hacking the software of life”
Antivaxxers and COVID-19 conspiracy theorists were always going to spin conspiracies about COVID-19 vaccines. Unfortunately, some scientists have made it so much easier for them by having likened mRNA vaccines to "hacking the software of life" and being unclear on what gene therapy is.
COVID Vaccines Probably Prevent Spread
The evidence is preliminary, but it looks like the COVID vaccines do reduce the risk of spread of SARS-CoV-2.
Antivaxxers misrepresent a study to falsely claim that COVID-19 vaccines cause cancer
The latest antivaccine propaganda claims that a 2018 research paper published by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center shows that the RNA in the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines can cause cancer. As usual, it's a complete misapplication of a cherry picked study grounded in a lack of understanding of molecular biology. Same as it ever was.
The latest antivax false claim: mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 are not vaccines but “medical devices” or “gene therapy”
There's a new antivaccine talking point in town, and it's just as much disinformation as other antivaccine talking points. It's the claim that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not really vaccines but "medical devices," "gene therapy," or "experimental biologics" and that they were falsely classified as vaccines in order to bypass safety testing. Here, we discuss why this claim is utter nonsense based...