Claim: British doctors call for a cessation of COVID-19 vaccination and other claims about the safety of the vaccines
Source: WhatsApp video
Verdict: 3 FALSE, 1 MISLEADING
Researched by Gifty Tracy Aminu
A video produced by an American Television Network, One American News Network (OAN) claims doctors in England are calling for a complete cessation of COVID-19 vaccination after discovering they are unsafe for humans.
“More and more evidence from around the world is pouring in that raises doubt about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines for the Chinese coronavirus. A new report from doctors from England calls for a complete cessation of using COVID vaccines on humans,” one of the two presenters seen in the video partly said.
The fact-check report will seek to verify four claims made in the 4 minutes and 38 seconds long video.
“A new report from doctors from England calls for a complete cessation of using COVID vaccines on humans. According to the UK based evidence-based medicine consultancy group which submitted its findings to Britain’s department of health claiming there is more than enough evidence to declare the COVID-19 vaccines unsafe for use in humans. Doctors say after examining official public health records, they looked at a number of side effects of the vaccine including bleeding and clotting, unexpected immune system reactions, unusual pain reactions, neurological responses, loss of sight, hearing, speech or smells,” one of the presenters partly said in the video.
“The ‘urgent British report’ is not official. It’s a whitepaper written by a physicist who supports ineffective and unproven pharmacological treatments for covid-19. The report uses vaccine suspected adverse events data from MHRA Yellow Card as evidence that covid vaccines are unsafe, but these data alone cannot be interpreted to reach conclusions about the existence of problems associated with vaccines,” the Chief Executive of the British Medical Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Dr June Reine told Estadão Verifica.
Meanwhile, the WHO Africa Infodemic Response Alliance (AIRA) when contacted by GhanaFact said all COVID-19 vaccines went through rigorous clinical testing to ensure that they are safe and effective.
“There are strict protections in place to help ensure the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines. Before receiving validation from WHO and national regulatory agencies, COVID-19 vaccines must undergo rigorous testing in clinical trials to prove that they meet internationally agreed benchmarks for safety and efficacy,” the AIRA Secretariat said.
The WHO further emphasized that “unprecedented scientific collaborations have allowed COVID-19 vaccine research, development, and authorizations to be completed in record time – to meet the urgent need for these vaccines while maintaining high safety standards.”
As with all vaccines, WHO and regulatory authorities will continuously monitor the use of COVID-19 vaccines to identify and respond to any safety issues that might arise, and through that process to assure they remain safe for use around the world.
The claim is rated FALSE.
“Adverse reaction affecting pregnancy including miscarriage,” a presenter said in the video.
“Pregnant women should get vaccinated when the benefits outweigh the risks. We do not have enough data on the safety of vaccines for pregnant women. However, data from the United States, where around 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated with messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines like the Pfizer-BioNTech and Modena vaccines have not raised any safety concerns,” the World Health Organization told GhanaFact when alerted to the claim.
According to the WHO, countries have different guidelines based on their own situations. In countries where pregnant women can choose to get the vaccine, health workers would have to help them to understand the risks and benefits so they can make an informed decision.
“If you are unsure, please ask your doctor,” the WHO/AIRA said.
The claim is MISLEADING.
“Researchers explained that the products in the vaccine are toxic to humans called for an immediate halt to the vaccination programme to conduct a full investigation into these harmful effects.”
“There is absolutely no poison in COVID-19 vaccines and over 5 billion doses have been given all around the world so far,” the WHO/AIRA secretariat said in response to the claim.
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.
The claim that products in the vaccines are toxic is FALSE.
“To be clear, this is an experimental drug. And it is now being administered without proper testing or safety protocols. Something that is never being done before for any other disease and we are witnessing the consequences of that first hand,” one presenter said.
“In the past, vaccines have been developed through a series of consecutive steps that can take many years. Now, given the urgent need for COVID-19 vaccines, unprecedented financial investments and scientific collaborations are changing how vaccines are developed,” according to the World Health Organization.
Before receiving validation from WHO and national regulatory agencies, COVID-19 vaccines went through rigorous testing in clinical trials to prove that they meet internationally agreed benchmarks for safety and efficacy.
Some of the steps in the research and development process of the vaccines were done simultaneously, while still maintaining strict clinical and safety standards.
- Vaccines go through various phases of development and testing – there are usually three phases to clinical trials, with the last one designed to assess the ability of the product to protect against disease, which is called efficacy. All phases assess safety.
- The last phase, phase III, is usually conducted in a large number of people, often 10’s of thousands.
- After that, the vaccine needs to go through a review by the national regulatory authority, who will decide if the vaccine is safe and effective enough to be put on the market, and a policy committee, who will decide how the vaccine should be used.
Therefore, the claim that COVID-19 vaccines are being administered without proper testing or safety protocols is FALSE.