Claim: All vaccinated people will die within 2 years
Source: WhatsApp Message
Researched Gifty Tracy Aminu
A widely circulated message on WhatsApp in Ghana claims all people vaccinated against COVID-19 “will die within 2 years” and this is being attributed to French virologist and joint recipient of the 2008 Noble Prize in Medicine, Luc Montagnier.
“It’s an enormous mistake, isn’t it? A scientific error as well as a medical error. It is an unacceptable mistake,” he is quoted in the WhatsApp message to have said in relation to the global vaccination effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
This fact-check report will seek to verify two claims.
- Whether Luc Montagnier actually said, “all vaccinated people will die within two years.”
- Whether COVID-19 vaccines create new variants.
Did Luc Montagnier say- “all vaccinated people will die within 2 years?
GhanaFact has found a viral video interview granted by the French virologist, which is being used to confirm the viral claims. The video which is 2 minutes 18 seconds long has a “RAIR Foundation USA” logo embossed on it.
Even though the interview was conducted in French, the video comes with English subtitles for non-French speakers. But nowhere in the interview does Luc Montagnier make the claim that “all vaccinated people will die within 2 years” as being attributed to him. The complete interview can be seen here.
Moreover, the World Health Organization has said COVID-19 vaccines just like any other vaccines used in the past are safe and effective. “Vaccine safety is one of the highest priorities, and we’re working closely with national authorities to develop and implement standards to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective,” the WHO has said.
“COVID-19 vaccines substantially reduce the risk of people getting sick and dying of the virus. They are a crucial tool in ending the pandemic. There is absolutely no poison in COVID-19 vaccines and over 2.3 billion doses have been given all around the world so far. COVID-19 vaccines could well save your life, so when you get the chance, please get the vaccine,” the WHO Africa Infodemic Response Alliance secretariat told GhanaFact.
The claim that all vaccinated people will die within two years is FALSE.
Do COVID-19 vaccines create new variants?
“There is no evidence of this, vaccination is part of the solution for suppressing transmission along with existing public health measures,” a WHO spokesperson told Euronews while debunking claims that the vaccines are causing new COVID-19 variants
Also, a professor at Johns Hopkins University’s medical school Dr Stuart Ray said, “there’s no evidence that the vaccines create new variants, largely because vaccination appears to shut down viral infections, prevent people from spreading it to others, if the virus can’t spread, it doesn’t have the opportunity to evolve,” in response to the claim when contacted by The Associated Press.
According to the World Health Organization, all viruses including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 – evolve over time. “When a virus replicates or makes copies of itself, it sometimes changes a little bit, which is normal for a virus. These changes are called mutations. A virus with one or more new mutations is referred to as a variant of the original virus.”
Explaining why a virus changes into a new variant, the WHO said “when a virus is widely circulating in a population and causing many infections, the likelihood of the virus mutating increases. The more opportunities a virus has to spread, the more it replicates – and the more opportunities it has to undergo changes.”
The claim is rated FALSE.