Antivaccine alternative health tycoon Joe Mercola claims that the unblinding of participants in the clinical trials of Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines was intended to “blow up the trials” and undermine the science, making it impossible ever to identify long term adverse events. What he’s really doing is deceptively oversimplifying complex ethical and scientific issues surrounding these trials in the middle of a deadly pandemic, all in the service of his grift.
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.
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.
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.