Friday, February 26, 2021
Home Fact-Check Here are 5 fear-mongering claims about the COVID vaccine, because even Harbhajan Singh is...

Here are 5 fear-mongering claims about the COVID vaccine, because even Harbhajan Singh is not ‘immune’ to rumours

In July 2020, Prof Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said several factors helped in the quick development of the vaccine. He said the previous research on the vaccine, faster approval for the funds, and volunteers' availability helped in pacing up the development.

The covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we see the world completely. The year 2020 has brought a ‘new normal’ to our lives, and we are trying to adjust to it. Governments worldwide are trying to ensure people take precautions, and the death rate stays minimal. The scientists are working day and night to develop a vaccine for the infection. However, there are several misleading claims about the vaccine and its importance in making rounds on social media platforms that need to be debunked.

India has a 93.6% recovery rate – Why do we need a vaccine?

The claim: The pharmaceutical companies are releasing a glimpse of the success rate of the vaccines under clinical trial for Covid-19 on a regular basis. Pfizer and BioNTech have claimed a 94% success rate, Moderna at 94.5%, Oxford-AstraZeneca at 90%, and so on. The recovery rate in India is quite high, suggesting that the disease may not be fatal for a vast majority of people. Several netizens, including ex-cricketer Harbhajan Singh, have raised the question if we really need the vaccine.

The claim started making rounds around November 26. It is possible that Harbhajan Singh fell for a WhatsApp forward of the said claim.

Screenshot of tweets with same claims that were made around November 26

The fact: The vaccine is not a medicine that you will take after you get infected. it helps in developing immunity against the disease thus prevents you from getting the infection in the first place. Also, even 6% of India’s population means over 70 million people. The vaccine will ensure that they do not get infected in the first place, improving their chance to survive the pandemic. Claiming that we do not need a vaccine because we have a higher recovery rate is technically incorrect because there will be many people who cannot recover and will succumb to the disease.

The vaccine will alter the DNA of humans

The claim: The said claim that the vaccine will alter the DNA of humans has been making rounds since May 2020. The claim was first made by Dr Andrew Kaufman, a self-proclaimed “natural healing consultant,” in an interview. He said the vaccine would provide a vessel to ‘inject genes into humans’ and make them “genetically modified organisms”. Osteopath Carrie Madej further supported the claim.

The fact: A DNA vaccine involves the direct introduction into appropriate tissues of a plasmid containing the DNA sequence encoding the antigen(s) against which an immune response is sought and relies on the in situ production of the target antigen. That means a small part of the DNA or RNA of the virus will be injected into the patient to trigger an immune response without causing any infection. CDC has provided details about mRNA vaccines for Covid-19.

Mark Lynas, a visiting fellow at Cornell University’s Alliance for Science group, had said, “Genetic modification would involve the deliberate insertion of foreign DNA into the nucleus of a human cell, and vaccines simply don’t do that. Vaccines work by training the immune system to recognize a pathogen when it attempts to infect the body – this is mostly done by the injection of viral antigens or weakened live viruses that stimulate an immune response through the production of antibodies.”

Vaccines are coming too fast, something is wrong

The claim: The people who are taking the vaccine will become guinea pigs for the pharmaceutical companies. No one knows the side effects of the vaccine as the development of the vaccine takes decades to complete.

The fact: One of the most genuine-sounding concerns are about the pace at which the vaccine is being developed. It is generally believed that the development, trials and production of a vaccine will take several years to complete. In the case of Covid-19, the vaccines being developed by several pharmaceutical companies have already entered the third phase of trials. Some companies are claiming they will introduce their vaccine in the market in the first quarter of 2021.

In July 2020, Prof Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said several factors helped in the quick development of the vaccine. He said the previous research on the vaccine, faster approval for the funds, and volunteers’ availability helped in pacing up the development. Many scientists working on vaccine development have assured on several occasions that all the required protocols for developing a safe vaccine are in place. Apart from that, most governments have also been aiding the vaccine development process by speeding up regulatory processes and cutting unnecessary delays.

Bill Gates wants to inject everyone with a microchip

The claim: Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, is planning to inject everyone with a traceable microchip on the pretext of the Covid-19 vaccine. Several “experts” made videos and claimed that Bill Gates said the same in March 2020. According to BBC, in May, a YouGov poll of 1,640 people suggested 28% of Americans believed Gates wanted to use vaccines to implant microchips in people.

The Fact: In March 2020, Bill Gates said in an interview that the recovery, testing, and vaccination would be traced using a digital certificate. There was no mention of the microchip. The claim referred to a study by The Gates Foundation-funded organization that suggested developing a technology that can store vaccine records in a special ink administered at the time of the vaccination. It did not take about the microchip but about the invisible ink tattoo. Gates’ foundation works with the United Nations and helps many poor countries to procure vaccines.

Fetus tissue used in the development of the vaccine

The claim: The scientists are using fetus tissue for the development of the Covid-19 vaccine. The claim was posted by one of the largest anti-vaccine groups on its Facebook page that the scientists are using fetus tissue in the Covid-19 vaccine. The video showed the cover of AstraZeneca-developed COVID-19 vaccine ChAdOx1-S, also known as AZD1222. It was mentioned in its details that it uses “direct RNA sequencing to analyse transcript expression from the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 genome in human MRC-5 and A549 cell lines that are non-permissive for vector replication alongside the replication permissive cell line, HEK293.”

The fact: Reuters debunked the misinformation. AstraZeneca said that AZD1222 was not developed using MRC-5 cell lines. The study video mentioned was not by AstraZeneca, but scientists at the University of Bristol did it to tests the vaccine’s efficiency. The report further suggested that “AZD1222 (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) is a weakened and non-replicating version of the common cold virus (adenovirus) taken from chimpanzees, which has been engineered to contain instructions for creating the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Dr. David Matthews, a reader of virology at Bristol University and co-author on the vaccine study, said, “Many virus vaccines are made in embryonic/foetal derived cell lines and then the vaccine is purified away from these cells to exceptionally high standards. Most of these cell lines (including MRC-5 cells and 293 cells) were derived from tissue samples taken from foetuses aborted in the 1960s and 1970s and the cells have been grown in laboratories all over the world since then.”

There are hundreds of misconceptions and misinformation about Covid-19, its treatment, and vaccine. Before forwarding any message, it is suggested to check the claim and verify it from an authentic source such as the World Health Organization, MoFHW, and others.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Multimedia graduate by education. Writer by profession. Poet by heart.

Related Articles

Trending now

“Samachar Tamasha Nahi” – 5 instances in recent history when India Today group had indulged in drama, fake news and shoddy journalism

While Aaj Tak runs 'Samachar Tamasha Nahi' campaign claiming to be no-nonsense channel, 5 incidents when it was caught spreading fake news

NRIs in Canada protest outside Khalistani sympathiser and Canadaian MP Jagmeet Singh’s office amidst attacks from Khalistanis

The protestors said that the farmer protests have turned into a Khalistani movement which is now targeting Hindu minorities in Canada

Election Commission announces schedule of assembly elections in four states and one union territory, counting on 2nd May

Dates for assembly elections in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam and Puducherry announced by the election commission

‘We should be outraged!’: Senator Rand Paul grills Biden’s nominee as Dr Levine refuses to condemn sex change procedure for little children

U.S. Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky grilled Dr. Rachel Levine at her confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate.

Meet British MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi: Khalistani connections, pro-Pakistani stance on Kashmir and vocal during ‘farmer protests’

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, or Tan Dhesi as he is addressed sometimes, is a Labour MP from Slough in the United Kingdom.

Rahul Gandhi lies about India clearing millions of dollars of Chinese FDI after a 9-month freeze: Here are the exclusive details

Rahul Gandhi shared a report that relied solely on sources, to claim that after a 9 month-long freeze, India had started clearing FDI from China

Recently Popular

Did Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan elope with her Hindu servant? Here is the truth

The image that is being used to claim that Iran Khan has 'eloped with her Hindu servant' was originally shared by Nupur Shikare, her fitness trainer. The two were posing on the occasion of Diwali.

US President Joe Biden casually drops the N-word during Munich Security Conference, accused of racism on social media

The N-word is considered as one of the hateful words that were first uttered in the 17th century. Its origin can be traced back to the Spanish word 'negro', which is often used by white supremacists to deliberately offend the African-American community.

Govt removes safety net that allowed platforms like Twitter to not take responsibility for their misuse, officials can be penalised

If social media platforms don’t comply with the provisions of new guidelines, this will attract penal provisions under the IT Act

I worry about Yogendra Yadav’s mental health and his The Print article on the 2021 Bengal elections proves I am not wrong

As BJP rises in Bengal, a panic attack was detailed in The Print, written by our very own Icchadhari protestor, Yogendra Yadav.

‘Hindi filmmakers repeatedly insult Hindu Gods and Goddesses’: Remarks Allahabad HC rejecting bail of Amazon Prime’s Aparna Purohit in Tandav case

Aparna Purohit is accused of hurting religious sentiments through scenes mocking Hindu gods in the web series 'Tandav' on Amazon Prime

Did the Congress party pay fishermen in Kerala Rs 30,000 to swim with Rahul Gandhi? What we know

CPIM owned Deshabhimani quoeted fishermen claiming Rahul Gandhi swimming in sea in Kerala was a drama staged by paying them
- Advertisement -


Connect with us