Yesterday, the FDA paused use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 due to a rare association with a very uncommon type of blood clot. Detecting one-in-a-million potential adverse events shows that our monitoring is working, but predictably antivaxxers are weaponizing this development to spread fear of COVID vaccines.
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.
Joel Hirschhorn argues that the feds should have used “real world evidence” per the 21st Century Cures Act to approve the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19. It’s the same argument acupuncturists use to promote their quackery.
John Ioannidis is one of the most published and influential scientists in the world, someone whose skewering of bad medical research we at SBM have frequently lauded over the years. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Since then, Prof. Ioannidis has been publishing dubious studies that minimize the dangers of the coronavirus, shown up in the media to decry “lockdowns,” and, most recently, “punched down”, attacking a graduate student for having criticized him. What happened? Did Prof. Ioannidis change, or was he always like this and I just didn’t see it? Either way, he’s a cautionary tale of how even science watchdogs can fall prey to hubris.
Quacks love light therapy for everything, whether there’s good evidence or not that it works for the condition treated. COVID-19 is no exception.