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.
Antivaccine propagandist Del Bigtree’s ICAN is waging a legalistic war on state health departments’ efforts to promote COVID-19 vaccination based on attacking them for “false advertising.” This is largely an unforced error on the part of health departments, which now need to be very cautious over their wording promoting these vaccines.
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 by targeting tumor suppressor genes. 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.
Dr. Liz Mumper is associated with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s antivax organization Children’s Health Defense. She recently gave a presentation asking: How will we know that a COVID vaccine is safe? It’s a presentation that provides an excellent example of how to identify if someone is antivaccine.
A week ago, the FDA approved the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. Unfortunately, messaging by political and religious authorities has ranged from mixed to downright unhelpful.