Claims: COVID-19 conspiracy theories and vaccine misinformation
Source: WhatsApp Video
Verdict: 3 claims FALSE
Researched by Gifty Tracy Aminu
A video showing a group of seven health professionals spreading various COVID-19 conspiracy theories and vaccine misinformation is being widely shared on WhatsApp.
The 7 minutes and 25 seconds long video which has been tagged by WhatsApp as “forwarded many times”, shows the medical professionals speaking in English and a male voice translating their comments into an indigenous Ghanaian language- Twi.
This fact-check report seeks to verify 3 claims made in the viral video.
A Medical Doctor and Homeopath from Belgium, Johan Denis claims the coronavirus vaccines could change the DNA of those who take them and are not safe.
“The Corona vaccine is not proven safe or effective. There is no medical emergency. It is a fake pandemic… It was all orchestrated to make you fearful enough to take the vaccine…It might possibly change your DNA, it is irreversible and irreparable for all future generation, an experiment on humanity.” He partly said.
Some of the new COVID-19 vaccines use a fragment of Messenger RNA (mRNA) to instruct your body to make an immune response against COVID-19. The mRNA does not do anything to your DNA.
According to a scientist and an immunologist at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana, Dr Yaw Bediako, the claim that the coronavirus vaccines can alter a person’s DNA is a myth and not true.
“There is no way RNA is going to integrate your DNA. That kind of Myth should be busted. There is no way that RNA from a vaccine is ever going to change your genetic material,” he said.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says it has evaluated the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/BionTech COVID-19 vaccines to ensure they meet the necessary criteria for safety and efficacy.
“All the vaccines that are currently in use or considered to be distributed through the Covax facilities go through a very rigorous evaluation process that looks at the safety of the vaccines as well as efficacy. Before Emergency Use Listing (EUL) authorization is provided, all these different elements are checked very strictly”. The Immunization and Vaccines Development Program Coordinator at WHO/AFRO, Dr Richard Mihigo said during an Online Press Briefing on COVID-19.
The claims that the coronavirus vaccine is not safe and can change your DNA are FALSE.
A Chiropractic Physician from the USA, Dr Daniel Cullum also claims COVID-19 is not a medical pandemic and advises people not to take the vaccine. “This is not a real medical pandemic the world is enduring in this time. The vaccine has not been proven to be safe or effective and I will not be taking it or recommending it because there is no safe vaccine period,” he partly said.
A medical journalist from Germany, Moritz Von Der Borch claims the pandemic is a fraud. “Do not take this vaccine. This vaccine is dangerous, and this pandemic is a fraud,” he partly said.
“COVID-19 is real. COVID-19 has claimed over 2.9 million lives globally and more than 79,000 lives in Africa as of April 8, 2021. COVID-19 has been recorded in 223 countries and territories. COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
COVID-19 was initially reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, 2019, after it was first identified amid the outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
On January 30, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a global health emergency before on March 11 that same year, it was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.
As of 8 April 2021, WHO has evaluated that the following vaccines against COVID-19 have met the necessary criteria for safety and efficacy:
Therefore, claim 2 and 3 are rated FALSE.