Texan doctor baselessly claims that the mRNA vaccines aren’t actually vaccines at all

 Newswise
30-Mar-2021 2:40 PM EDT, by Newswise

Fact Check By: Craig Jones, Newswise

Truthfulness: False

Claim:

The so-called COVID-19 vaccine does not provide any individual who receives the vaccine with immunity to COVID-19, nor does it prevent the spread of the disease. It does not meet the CDC’s own definition of a vaccine...

Claim Publisher and Date: Dr. Steven Hotze on 2021-02-26

Dr. Steven Hotze, a doctor in Texas, claims the vaccines don’t provide protection and that they’re actually “experimental gene therapy" in video shared thousands of times on social media. Since the FDA-approved "COVID-19 vaccines" are mRNA-based, he claims they aren't vaccines but "experimental gene therapy designed to minimize your symptoms if you were to be infected with the COVID-19 virus." Dr. Hotze also claims the mRNA vaccines are dangerous and "poses a much greater danger to your health than COVID-19 itself." We rate these claims as false. The approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for COVID-19 have been through systematic trials and have prooven to be effective in protecting one from the illness caused by the SARS-COV2 virus. Clinical trial data from hundreds of thousands of people show that these vaccines prevent serious disease and death due to COVID-19.

As for the safety concerns, the mRNA vaccines have been tested on nonhumanprimates and on humans, and have been proven to be safe and effective, according to the CDC.

Some sources on Newswise on this topic...

  • On the claim that the mRNA vaccines are "gene therapy" 
    Gene therapy implies The use of DNA which stays in the body and can incorporate into chromosomes. RNA doesn’t do that. The RNA in the vaccines wouldn’t be converted into DNA because the enzymes capable of doing that aren’t present. Moreover, the RNA is not stable enough to hang around and is rapidly degraded. (See: See COVID vaccines aren't 'gene therapy')

    Donald Forthal, UCI Professor of Medicine and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine

  • On the effectiveness of the approved mRNA vaccines

    mRNA vaccines are around 95% effective at preventing severe disease and around 75% for mild to moderate disease. (See: See: Your Questions, Answered: Examining Mistrust and Vaccines

    Dr. David "Davey" Smith, head of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health

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Released: 7-May-2021 1:40 PM EDT
There is no evidence that vaccines could cause harm to people who have recovered from COVID-19
Newswise

An article published by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s anti-vaccination organization and widely shared on social media questions the need of vaccinating those who’ve already recovered from COVID-19. The article says there’s a "potential risk of harm, including death" in getting the vaccines. We report this claim as false. There is no evidence that vaccinating people who had previously had COVID is resulting in an increased risk of adverse events.

Released: 29-Apr-2021 1:05 PM EDT
The claim made by leaders of Miami school that vaccinated teachers can negatively affect non-vaccinated staff and students is completely false
Newswise

There is no evidence any vaccinated people may be transmitting something from their bodies to non-vaccinated people.

Newswise: Claims That Masks Are Irrelevant Put People at Risk
Released: 22-Apr-2021 4:05 PM EDT
Claims That Masks Are Irrelevant Put People at Risk
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

The claim that you don’t have to wear a mask after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine has been circulating on social media and told by conservative media pundits such as Tucker Carlson and Rep. Jim Jordan.

Released: 30-Mar-2021 2:40 PM EDT
Texan doctor baselessly claims that the mRNA vaccines aren’t actually vaccines at all
Newswise

A Texas doctor, in a widely shared video, falsely claims the vaccines don’t provide protection and that they’re actually “experimental gene therapy.”

Newswise: Opinion Piece on Lockdowns Misinterprets Data
Released: 24-Mar-2021 1:35 PM EDT
Opinion Piece on Lockdowns Misinterprets Data
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

A recent opinion piece in the NY Post ignores evidence supporting the effectiveness of lockdowns.

Released: 24-Mar-2021 9:20 AM EDT
The claim that lockdowns end more lives than they save is misleading
University of Bristol

Dr Howard H.Z. Thom of the University of Bristol says it is grossly misleading to attribute the 1 million excess deaths solely to response.

Released: 19-Mar-2021 2:00 PM EDT
The Claim That U.S. Has Seen a Surge in Hate Crimes Against Asian People During the COVID-19 Pandemic Is True
Newswise

A study published in March 2021 by California State University, San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that hate crimes reported to police departments in the 16 largest U.S. cities in 2020 increased by 149%.

Released: 4-Mar-2021 8:05 AM EST
COVID vaccines aren't 'gene therapy'
University of California, Irvine

Fact-checking a false claim about COVID-19 vaccines

Released: 25-Feb-2021 5:50 PM EST
There Is No Data Indicating that the COVID-19 Vaccine Is Unsafe for Pregnant Women
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

Pregnant women are at increased risk of severe COVID-19. Also, many women of childbearing age have increased COVID-19 exposure risks, including healthcare providers and other workers providing essential services.

Released: 22-Feb-2021 9:00 AM EST
Dr. John Balmes, Noted Clean Air Expert, Says Gov. Greg Abbott's Claims Are False
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

While frozen wind turbines underperformed during the Texas power grid failure, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) around 29,000 megawatts of thermal energy — which is sourced from coal, gas and nuclear plants — were missing from the grid.


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