DR MAXWELL ADEYEMI
When the covid-19 pandemic started in late 2019, there was an uneasy calm across the globe, eventually the unseen enemy reached our shores in early 2020 and subsequently the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a global pandemic.
What followed on social media and mainstream media were barrages of information, misinformation, scientific news, conspiracy theories, truths, lies, good, bad and ugly pieces of write-ps and videos in a concoction that was daily consumed by discerning as well as gullible persons all around the world.
As we speak, there is still a lot of information that is being released, especially on social media, that is toxic, confusing, scary and unsafe for consumption. Many of such are deliberately misleading, some are mixed with half-truths and peddled with downright fabrications that have no place in sane reasoning or scientific analysis.
Just like people spending time to demonise their political opponents during election campaigns, and rival groups twisting words and information to make the others look bad, many people have invested time, energy and resources to promote anti-vax agenda to create fears and vaccine hesitancy.
Unfortunately, many people are innocently consuming this information without doing their own research, readings or fact-checks. There is a need to do your own checks, or seek information from relevant health professionals if you are concerned about some of these falsehoods been propagated, so you can be properly informed to make good judgments and decisions.
Some fears expressed
1.People are being used for trials: The insinuation that people taking the vaccines are being used as guinea pigs for vaccine trials is unfounded, because all the vaccines available now have gone through various stages of trials involving thousands of participants in many countries and passed the required regulations, like all other vaccines in the past before approval. Moreover, the WHO will not approve such vaccines without passing through the requisite processes and procedures.
2.Vaccines were developed too fast: Some argue that the vaccines were developed in less than one year and therefore unsafe. The fact is that development of the vaccines has been an ongoing process for more than a decade; vaccine research on corona viruses has been taking place for about 30 years.There are at least seven strains of corona viruses, there are SARS-Cov 1[SARS disease] MERS, SARS-Cov-2[Covid-19] just to mention a few, so SARS Cov-2 or Covid- 19 is not the first corona virus. Work has been done to develop vaccines for these family of viruses using different technologies. When the pandemic broke out, the race to get a vaccine was focused on fine-tuning the technology, funding and fixing the puzzles in the vaccine-making processes.
3. Microchip in vaccine: Anti-vaxxers are infusing fears on the population by claiming that chips are implanted in the vaccines. This is misleading and based on the fact that the vaccines that used the advanced mRNA technology (Pfizer and Moderna), used a very small phospho-lipid particle called “nano” particle because of its very small size to introduce the structural part of the covid virus – the spike protein of the head of the virus into the cell to trigger the desired immune response by the body cell. This is what some are alluding to be a chip. It is a deliberate twisting of technological nomenclature and language. The vaccines have no chips in them and the WHO will not approve vaccines with chips.
4.Magnetic elements in vaccines: Similar to many people, I have also seen videos on Facebook and recently on CNN allegedly claiming that there is a magnetic field at the injection site on the shoulders of vaccinated persons and that you get magnetised by the vaccine. Out of curiosity I tried the magnet test on my shoulder and it's completely untrue. This goes to show the extent of idleness and mischief that some people have gone to peddle falsehood and misinformation to instil fears into others.
5.Harmful chemicals in the vaccines: Some information also insinuate that the vaccines are mixed with harmful chemicals, but there is no evidence to suggest that this is the case. Rather, the evidence is that all components are analysed by approving bodies – the WHO engages the vaccine producers in an “open-book screening” with regards to quality, safety and efficacy before the vaccines are cleared for human use. Many of the chemicals used in the vaccines, similar to those used in most other drugs, are used to preserve and stabilise the vaccine, and these are tested items that are safe for humans.
6.The vaccines will cause infertility: This assumption is also based on poor understanding of facts and science by fear-mongering anti-vaxxers. Fever is a feature of many ailments and a side effect of many vaccines. A fever can temporarily suppress male fertility – about 16 per cent of people might experience fever after receiving the vaccine, and this is what some people have exaggerated and twisted as the connection between the vaccine and male infertility.
Any time a man has a fever, either from vaccines or any illness, fertility may be affected for about three months and it usually will bounce back afterwards. On the contrary, if you contract covid19, the virus can cause testicular damage in males which can negatively impact fertility.
In females, the infertility rumour is premised on the fear that mRNA in the vaccine could cause infertility by accidentally attacking a placenta protein called SYNCYTIN-1 which is similar in structure to the corona virus spike protein. However, this has been found to be untrue as the said protein is structurally different and there is no reason for what is postulated to happen. Many studies from the Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists and the British Fertility Society have concluded that there is no link between the vaccines and infertility.
7.Covid19 and its vaccines are designed to kill a certain race: It is manifestly clear that covid19 does not respect any race, colour or creed – rich, poor, young, old, educated or illiterate, all people of every race and ethnicity have fallen victim to the virus with fatal consequences. At the same time, all races, and all manner of people across the globe are getting vaccinated, so this argument is moot and holds no water.
8.Vaccinated people will die within two to five years: A video message claiming that vaccinated people will die in two years by Nobel winner French virologist Luc Montagnier has been fact-checked and found to be fake. The fake video was linked to a Canadian far right anti-abortion advocacy group known for being a purveyor of misleading information. The panic that is being infused into people with this propaganda is unfounded as the vaccines have been cleared to be safe and effective.
Contact Dr Maxwell on 363-1807 or 757-5411.