As I’ve said many times, in the age of COVID-19 everything old is new again, with antivaxxers resurrecting every old trope and tactic they’ve used for decades and repurposed them for the pandemic. Now it’s the false claim of religious exemptions to COVID-19 mandates.
On Monday the FDA granted full approval to Comirnaty, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. By Tuesday, antivaxxers had a propaganda line that the vaccine is still “experimental.”
Geert Vanden Bossche is back, and this time he’s blaming COVID-19 vaccines for driving the evolution of more dangerous “escape variants” of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the disease, that are capable of evading vaccine-induced immunity. As antivaxxers making this argument always do, unfortunately, he ignores the much larger problem in which free circulation of the virus is a far more powerful driver of evolution than the relatively small proportion of the world population that has as yet been vaccinated.
Ivermectin continues to be the new hydroxychloroquine, an unproven repurposed drug promoted to treat COVID-19. Now the advocates are pointing to the history of the drug’s developers being awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, as though that has anything to do with its effectiveness against COVID-19.
The Federation of State Medical Boards warned physicians that spreading COVID-19 misinformation might jeopardize their license to practice. It’s about time the FSMB said that, but I have serious doubts that anything will happen.