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Anti-vaxxer Movement Holds Meetings with Population and Promotes Disinformation

An anti-vaxxer movement started meetings in the regions. The movement’s members tell people to reject the COVID-19 vaccine, not to wear face masks and refuse testing for COVID-19. These meetings are live-streamed by Shore Shanidze, anti-vaxxer activists, through the social networks. FactCheck verified the disinformation messages voiced in the videos.

Claim: Face masks kill and are categorically forbidden for healthy people.

Verdict: FAKE NEWS

As wearing face masks became recommended or mandatory globally to fight the pandemic, fake news about the dangers associated with wearing face masks for a long period of time also ensued. Medical or cloth masks cannot contain molecules of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Therefore, a large volume of carbon dioxide is not accumulated under the face mask and we do not breath in large quantities.

COVID-19 is an airborne disease as infected persons spread virus-containing drops when coughing, sneezing or talking. Wearing face masks impedes the spread of virus microbes and protects a healthy person from the infiltration of virus particles in his respiratory system.

Medical studies confirm that wearing face masks is safe for human health. In accordance with the study conducted by the American Thoracic Society, wearing face masks could be uncomfortable but they do not block oxygen flow to lungs even among the people afflicted with severe lung diseases (see FactCheck’s article).

Claim: Tests are false! Diagnosis of the disease is impossible with PCR tests.

Verdict: FAKE NEWS

The diagnosis of COVID-19 is made by the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method or/and by rapid tests to detect SARS-COV-2 antigens or antibodies. There have been numerous items of fake news in regard to the diagnosis of COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic up to the present day (see FactCheck’s article).

The PCR method is considered as a gold standard of COVID-19 lab diagnostics. The PCR method is used to detect SARS-COV-2 RNA in a nasal swab. Health professionals use the PCR method to study genetic samples of DNA and RNA) for a highly accurate diagnosis of numerous infections. The claim that the diagnostics of the disease is impossible with PCR tests is fake news.

Kary Mullis, an American scientist, was credited for inventing the PCR reaction technique in 1983 for which he was awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry. This method is used in medical and biological research labs for different purposes. For instance, the PCR method enables the functional analysis of gens, the diagnosis of inherited diseases, the identification of one’s genetic footprint (used for court forensic fraternity tests) and the diagnosis of infectious diseases.

Frequently, fake news is also promoted in regard to rapid tests, claiming that the tests show falsely positive results. To corroborate these claims, disinformation purveyors name tests results on different substances (fruits, Coke, beer, water, etc.). In fact, disinformation mouthpieces mostly conduct the test in a wrong manner. They place the samples directly on the test whilst the samples first have to be put through a special buffer solution. In addition, rapid tests work only for samples from human bodies and detect the coronavirus and not on samples taken from the surface of fruits, Coke or water (see FactCheck’s article on this topic).

Claim: These are killer vaccines! These RNA vaccines were lab-made with added monkey adenovirus and contain AIDS particles.

Verdict: Fake News

The mRNA vaccines (Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna) do not contain the active virus and transmit information about the spike protein of the virus to a human body. The spike protein is an important receptor for the virus to access a cell. After administering the mRNA vaccine, the human body starts to produce a COVID-19 virus-like spike protein which is followed by the generation of antibodies. The mRNA-based vaccines are highly effective and safe. In addition, mRNA vaccines are more rapidly produced in labs which makes the fight against the pandemic more effective (see FactCheck’s article on how vaccines work and to learn more about their ingredients).

The monkey adenovirus is not used in mRNA vaccines but in vector vaccines such as the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. In this case, one of the harmless viruses is modified and used as a vector. In particular, the coronavirus gene, the so-called spike protein gene, is attached to another virus which serves as a vector (shuttle). The weakened monkey adenovirus which causes a simple cold is used as a viral vector. The modified virus does not multiply in human cells and does not pose a threat. Vector technology is a proven method.

The claim that vaccines contain AIDS particles is also false and unfounded.

Of note is that COVID-19 vaccines have gone through large-scale and scrupulous trials before being authorised, thereby proving their safety and efficacy. COVID-19 vaccines were created and approved within a tight time-frame, although none of the phases of the trials has been omitted.

Claim: Vaccination causes infertility.

Verdict: FAKE NEWS

There are constant items of fake news that the vaccine cause infertility or sterility. None of the vaccine’s side effects includes potential infertility. In addition, none of the vaccines approved by international health institutions includes annotations vis-à-vis recommendations to freeze sperm.

According to the British Fertility Society and the Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists, there is absolutely no evidence and no theoretical reason that any of the vaccines can affect the fertility of women or men.

According to the information of the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of placenta. Vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines, do not cause fertility problems (see FactCheck’s article on this topic).

Claim: RNA vaccines alter the genetic code. The most recent study showed that in 17% of cases virus genome particles were found in the human cell genome.

Verdict: FAKE NEWS

One of the most widespread myths is that vaccines can alter the genetic code/DNA. In fact, mRNA vaccines have no effect on human DNA.

Vaccines, including mRNA vaccines, do not enter the human cell nucleus where our DNA (genetic sample) is located and, therefore, they cannot alter it. COVID-19 vaccines cannot change the human genetic code. The only function of the vaccines is to shape immunity against diseases. As a result of vaccination, the mRNA molecule disintegrates and the body disposes of it when we produce the protein or a part of the protein.

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This article was produced as part of Facebook’s Fact-checking Programme. Given the rating, Facebook may impose different restrictions – click here for full information. For information on issuing a correction or to dispute a rating, please see here.


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