Debunking anti-vaccine conspiracy theories

I can't emphasize enough how positive these vaccine trial results are from the Moderna and BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccines, showing much better efficacy than anyone dared hoped for without significant safety concerns, as I have summarized in my posts here and here. Of course, there is more than remains to be learned: In the next month, a head-to-head safety analysis between placebo and vaccines will be done, subgroups need to be analyzed to see who is benefiting most, and other factors need further study including confirmation that there are not too many asymptomatic infected who could still spread disease in the vaccine arm, and characterization of the durability (length) of immunity it confers, but this news is better than anyone could have expected. If the safety analysis goes well, an emergency use authorization will likely be soon given by the FDA, and distribution of these vaccines starting by the end of the year, and wide distribution may be accomplished by the second and third quarters of 2021. This has the potential to be the light at the end of the tunnel, as this level of efficacy would be enough to end the pandemic if we can distribute broadly to the population, which would require on the order of 60-70% to truly end the pandemic.

Unfortunately, many are scared about taking the vaccine, including anti-vaccine proponents who are against all vaccines as well as people who aren't anti-vaccine, per se, but are legitimately concerned whether a vaccine developed and validated within such a short period of time, one year rather than the typical 5-10 years or more, is somehow dangerous. In a poll taken in September, only about half of Americans responded that they would be willing to get the vaccine, which would be enough to significantly dampen the viral spread, but would not truly end the pandemic. I'm not too worried about that, since I think many of the remaining 49% will come around once they see more data confirming any distributed vaccine is safe and effective, and the benefits it confers in suppressing spread are visible, and they can see that this can truly bring an end to this horrible pandemic. So, assuming safety checks out, by the time these vaccines are broadly available later in 2021, I expect >60-70% of Americans will be willing to take it, and hopefully other societies around the world will similarly come around to accepting the vaccine, and this can bring the worldwide pandemic to a close.

However, there is no area of medicine and science more rife with conspiracy theories and misinformation than vaccines, so as expected, numerous videos and posts have circulated purporting to reveal secret information showing why vaccines are dangerous or part of some conspiracy to track and control people, or even be part of some antichrist end-time plot. One of the most prominent and widespread is a video by Dr. Christiane Northrup, an OB-GYN and known anti-vaccine person who has appeared on the Dr. Oz show. I was forwarded this video by friends, and thought it important to debunk her claims, which I found to be almost universally erroneous and misleading.

I wanted to write a blog post debunking her claims, but have not had time, and just found that ZDoggMD, a clinician who sets out to deliver solid, scientifically supported clinical information, posted a video debunking her claims in a clear and convincing manner. Thus, in this post I will simply link to his video debunking her claims and briefly summarize the points he makes.

Dr. Northrup starts the video listing all kinds of credentials, none of which qualifies her as an immunologist or vaccine expert, and throws around a lot of impressing sounding medical terms and brings in scary imagery, but she misrepresents the underlying scientific ideas, and her claims are almost all completely erroneous, baseless, and in many cases, ridiculous.

Here are some of her main claims and the a brief summary of ZDoggMD's explanation of their falsehood:

  • mRNA viruses change your DNA and makes you a human-virus chimera: Not true at all. They work by introducing a small strand of messenger RNA into the cytoplasm of your cell, and this mRNA stimulates production of the characteristic coronavirus spike protein, which by itself is harmless, but this stimulates your immune system to build antibodies against this spike protein, which enables it to immediately fight off and neutralize SARS-CoV-2 should it get introduced into your body. It does not get into the nucleus of your cell where DNA is present, and does not change your DNA. It does not make you into some sort of human-virus chimera, like a Brundlefly.

  • The metals in vaccines create a human antenna sensitive to 5G radiation: It is not clear what metals, if any, are in the vaccines and if there were, they would be far lower than our blood iron levels, which would be much more significant than any amount in a vaccine. This is just not a thing.

  • Bill Gates has a patent (number 060606) that involves nanoparticles that would be present in the vaccines linked to cryptocurrency. He actually does have a patent for a technology linking a wearable device like watch to cryptocurrency to encourage good physical behavior. There is no patent for nanoparticles to biologically link to cryptocurrency and no sense of incorporating anything like this into any virus.

  • These vaccines will be tagged with luciferase to enable infrared scanning to see if someone has been vaccinated or not. This luciferase technology has been developed to tag particles to enable their detection and is widely used in biological laboratories for all kinds of purposes. The name "luciferase" has nothing to do with "Lucifer", which means "Angel of Light" or "Shining One" and is a common Satanic moniker, but comes from the fact that it works by chemically causing the particles to "light up", with "luc-" being the Latin root word for light. It is used in many scientific settings to study different substances, and ZDoggMD claims the technology has been linked with measles vaccines, but there is no luciferase technology present in the Moderna or BioNTech/Pfizer vaccines, nor has this been approved for tracking SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.

I hope this is helpful in helping you sort through her claims, and ensure that your viewpoints on vaccination are hopefully informed by empirical knowledge and an accurate understanding of the science, and hot confused by misleading or inaccurate claims.

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