Anti-Vaxxers Wage Campaigns Against COVID-19 Shots

Separate fact from fiction

Now that millions of people have received the vaccines – including over 3 million who have completed the full two-dose regimen – experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be able to really sort out the real side effects and rare caused. by the vaccine against accidental disease and death, Offit said.

“There will always be these temporal associations, always, and you just need to calm down and wait for the CDC to say, ‘You know something, there’s a rare side effect here.’ Because they are looking. They watch every day, ”Offit said.

Aside from the rare cases of anaphylactic shock that occur within a few minutes of receiving the injection, no other dangerous side effects have usually appeared in the millions of doses that have been administered, according to experts.

The other type of anti-vaccine rumor, the ‘big lie’, involves very specific conspiracy theories related to safety and side effects.

Dr Jill Foster, director of pediatric infectious diseases and immunology at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minneapolis, said: “It’s almost like the more they do, the better, because if you can really make someone believe in total absurdity, then look how powerful you are. “

One of the most common big lie rumors involves messenger RNA (mRNA) from the two COVID-19 vaccines somehow rewriting your personal DNA, noted Offit and Foster.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work by delivering mRNA into your cells, causing them to make replicas of the “spike protein” that the coronavirus uses to attach and infect cells. The immune system recognizes these proteins as foreign and responds to them, essentially teaching the body how to fight off an actual future COVID-19 infection.

The idea that mRNA could rewrite your DNA is “absolutely impossible,” Offit said.

Human cells already contain hundreds of thousands of copies of messenger RNA, which are used as blueprints to produce substances essential for life, Offit said.

In order to be able to rewrite DNA, the vaccine’s mRNA would first have to be able to penetrate the cell’s nucleus, which it cannot, Offit explained. Even if he succeeded in this, mRNA would require specific enzymes to translate into DNA and then integrate into your personal genetics, and these enzymes are not present in the vaccine.

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Jothi Venkat

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