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    Correcting this week’s misinformation: week of June 27, 2024

    Can vaccination be undone?

    The Claim:

    In an interview on the Alex Jones Show, cardiologist Peter McCullough claims to have created an mRNA off-switch that can stop vaccine mRNA from working in the body.

    The Facts:

    This interview is based on a paper that claims to have discovered an ‘off-switch’ for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. In it, Dr. McCullough says that one solution to “detox” against mRNA vaccines is to introduce small interfering RNA (siRNA), similar to mRNA along with ribonuclease targeting chimeras (RIBOTACs)

    McCullough has made multiple claims, including in his paper below, that lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) can cause injury and harm. Yet in his new procedure, both siRNA and RIBOTACs use lipid nanoparticles to enter the cells to target mRNA. If using lipids to allow siRNA and RIBOTACs to enter our cells is seen as safe, we can also assume the mRNA from vaccination is safe.

    McCullough thinks this procedure is necessary because of worries about how mRNA vaccines spread throughout the body.

    His idea about “systemic biodistribution” comes from misconstrued data. A study in rats looked at lipid nanoparticles after mRNA vaccine injections and their distribution in organs over time. The data show that most of the nanoparticles stayed where they were injected, and some went to the liver. In the ovaries, the highest amount of nanoparticles found was very, very small (only about 0.095% after 48 hours). This amount might be even smaller in human ovaries because the dose used in the COVID vaccine is much less than what they used in the rat study.

    Would this off-switch work? We doubt Dr. McCullough’s science very much, and it is unnecessary because while tiny amounts of mRNA may persist in the body, the vast majority usually degrades within days.

    Do babies receive too many vaccines at once?

    The Claim:

    A new study by Brian Hooker, through Robert F Kennedy Jr.’s anti-vaccine organization, claims that the more vaccines a baby receives at one time, the more likely they are to develop illnesses and developmental delays.

    The Facts:

    Let’s first take a look at the journal itself. The editors of the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research include a linguistics Ph.D., a professor of ophthalmology, and several figures known for promoting vaccine misinformation, such as anti-vaccine doctor Russell Blaylock, rhetoric professor Daniel Broudy, attorney Robert J. Krakow, and Brian Hooker, a bioengineer. This journal isn’t taken seriously because the people accepting and reviewing papers do not have the background needed to make good decisions about them.

    It’s troubling that Brian Hooker, author, is published in a journal where he is on the editorial board. The editorial board also provides the peer review for this journal.

    The study evaluates 1,542,076 vaccine combinations administered to infants under one year old between 1991 and 2011, using data from the Florida Medicaid Database. The study claims that increasing the number of vaccines administered at once leads to higher rates of adverse outcomes, particularly respiratory, developmental, and suspected infectious diseases.

    In fact, the study misinterprets findings through selection and temporal bias and just plain suspected errors in calculation. The reported risk ratios are extraordinarily high, which suggests possible methodological flaws or mistakes in their research methods. For example, the paper claims that where infants who received HepB, Rotavirus, and Pneumococcal vaccines along with DTaP+IPV+HIB were 3,041% more likely to be diagnosed with “other diseases of trachea and bronchus” within 30 days post-vaccination than an infant who only received DTaP+IPV+HIB.

    This risk ratio is so high that it is difficult to take seriously. They also found that vaccines were associated with ailments with a ridiculous level of significance for every single one of the nearly 100 conditions listed.

    Scientists don’t take high risk ratios such as those at face value because they can often signal problems in the study, like mistakes in the research methods, biased data, or other factors that could skew the results, making the findings less reliable.

    One thing Hooker fails to take into consideration is that infants receiving multiple vaccines might already be at higher risk for medical conditions due to underlying health issues, something he has done in the past. In 2014 Brian Hooker reanalyzed a 2004 case-control dataset as a cohort study, which skewed results. His paper was eventually retracted, citing undeclared competing interests on the part of the author. So instead of taking a randomized group of children and looking for a correlation between vaccines and autism, he took a study of children that purposely included vaccinated autistic children and concluded that autistic children were more likely to be vaccinated, not that the vaccinated children were more likely to be autistic, given the population the study was looking at.

    This paper is less likely to be retracted, as Hooker is on the editorial board, but it really should be.

    Did the COVID-19 vaccine lead to massive deaths?

    The Claim:

    A new paper claims to prove that COVID vaccination leads to massive deaths.

    The Facts:

    This paper was initially uploaded as a preprint in the Lancet in July 2023 and subsequently removed because “the study’s conclusions are not supported by the study methodology.”

    The authors, who include famed anti-vaxxers William Makis and Peter McCullough, identified 134 studies, of which 44 met their inclusion criterion. Then, three physicians reviewed all the cases and determined that 240 cases (about 74%) were directly or significantly attributed to COVID vaccination.

    Their conclusion about the deaths, most of them occurring within one week following vaccination, “were attributable to fatal vaccine injury syndrome,” even though this study was a review of other published studies. One study, from which a majority of the data was taken, concluded that “no relation between the cause of death and vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 was found.”

    One death that all three physicians said was caused by the vaccine was that of an 83-year-old man who had been diagnosed with COVID 18 days prior to his death. Similarly, a 19-year-old man’s death was attributed to the vaccine he received 6 months prior to his death and not the COVID infection he had 17 days prior to his death. In the days leading up to his death, this young man also had seizures due to suspected multiple sclerosis that was confirmed in his autopsy but not diagnosed.

    The study claims that “circulating Spike protein is likely the harmful mechanism through which COVID-19 vaccines cause side effects.” However, it also says the most commonly used COVID-19 vaccine was Sinovax, which is an inactivated virus. This means there was no free circulating Spike protein, unlike mRNA vaccines. What circulates in the body is similar to the COVID virus but inactive and unable to infect cells.

    In the end, more than half of the nine authors are affiliated with The Wellness Company, which sells supplements it claims combat vaccine injury. This paper isn’t research; it’s a marketing scheme.

    Disclaimer: Science is always evolving and our understanding of these topics may have evolved since it was originally posted. Browse the latest information posted in Just the Facts Topics.

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