Tag: vaccines

Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

No, the Moderna and Pfizer RNA vaccines against COVID-19 will not “permanently alter your DNA”

With the new mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna likely to be starting to become available soon, antivaxxers have been ramping up the fear mongering. Their latest claim is that mRNA vaccines will "permanently alter your DNA" or even "make you transhuman". Such claims rest on an utter ignorance of the totality of what we know about the biology of DNA,...

/ November 30, 2020
Mercola versus flu vaccines and COVID-19

There is no COVID-19 “casedemic.” The pandemic is real and deadly.

Antivaccine activists and pandemic minimizers Del Bigtree and Joe Mercola are promoting the myth of the "casedemic" that claims that the massive increase in COVID-19 cases being reported is an artifact of increased PCR testing and false positives due to too sensitive a threshold to the test. As they have done for vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases many times before, they are vastly...

/ November 23, 2020

Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump. Now what for science-based medicine?

In 2016 and 2020, scientists expressed surprise and alarm at the results of the Presidential election. In 2016 it was alarm that someone as antiscience as Donald Trump was elected, and in 2020 it was over how close the election was, given Trump's dismal record on science, medicine, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Are scientists out of touch? And now what, for federal...

/ November 9, 2020
HHS

Vaccine safety monitoring in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic

Last year, the Trump administration essentially disbanded the National Vaccine Program Office, folding it into an office focused on infectious diseases. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. What does this mean for monitoring the safety of the soon-to-be-approved COVID-19 vaccines?

/ October 26, 2020
COVID-19 denial and antivaxxers

The confluence of antivaccine beliefs and conspiracy theories in COVID-19 denial

It surprised some people that after the COVID-19 pandemic hit our shores antivaxxers so quickly joined forces with COVID-19 conspiracy theorists. It shouldn't have been a surprise. Antivaxxer beliefs are themselves rooted deep in conspiracy theories.

/ September 28, 2020

Don’t use a COVID-19 vaccine, cry the antivaxxers, because of the horseshoe crab!

Antivaxxers are now urging vegans not to use a COVID-19 vaccine because blood from horseshoe crabs will be used in its manufacture. At its heart, this is no different than their weaponization of beliefs against other vaccine ingredients, except that it does use a germ of a good point that we should be looking for other ways to ensure that vaccines have...

/ September 7, 2020

The perils and pitfalls of “doing your own research” about COVID-19 (or any other science)

Ethan Siegel at Forbes argues that you "must not 'do your own research.'" While the title grates, Siegel is correct that most of us are not really capable of "doing our own research" about most scientific and medical questions because we lack the necessary background. We must therefore be humble and be very, very careful about "doing our own research."

/ August 3, 2020
Del Bigtree

Antivaccine leader Del Bigtree on COVID-19: “Let’s catch this cold!” Why antivaxxers and coronavirus conspiracy theorists are often one in the same.

Last week, antivaccine activist Del Bigtree posted a rant denying the severity of COVID-19, blaming the chronically ill for having made themselves vulnerable to severe disease through their lifestyle choices, and urging the young and healthy to "catch this cold". His rant shows exactly why COVID-19 conspiracy theorists and antivaxxers have such an affinity for each other and have teamed up to...

/ June 22, 2020
coronavirus

Antivaxxers launch a preemptive disinformation war against a COVID-19 vaccine that doesn’t yet exist

We don't yet have a vaccine against COVID-19, but that hasn't stopped the antivaccine movement from launching a preemptive disinformation war on social media against it. Unfortunately, as a recent study demonstrates, on Facebook at least, they have been so successful that it is possible that antivaccine messaging will surpass pro-vaccine messaging on FB within a decade.

/ May 25, 2020

Medical conspiracy theories and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has spawned almost innumerable conspiracy theories, and conspiracists like the antivaccine movement have joined forces with COVID-19 conspiracy theorists. To combat the proliferation of pseudoscience rooted in conspiracy theories, it is useful to step back and examine the nature of conspiracy theories, including ones that are not medical, even ones like QAnon. Critical thinking is the key to inoculating...

/ May 18, 2020