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 have been falsely claiming that the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are “gene therapy,” not vaccines. Now über-quack Joe Mercola is falsely claiming that the vaccines are, from a legal standpoint, not vaccines.
Del Bigtree’s antivaccine group ICAN has claimed a huge “victory” over the CDC over the bogus antivax claim that vaccines cause autism. It’s really a huge nothingburger, a grifting fundraising tactic.
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?
Since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the US, increasing concern has been expressed about the politicization of the CDC and FDA due to pressure from the Trump administration to downplay the severity of the pandemic and push out treatments and a vaccine as fast as possible, potentially at the expense of safety. This has led me to a disturbing question: Can I trust the CDC and FDA any more?