As the world continues to reel under the weight of COVID-19, both in terms of financial and healthcare instability, getting the masses vaccinated is seemingly the only shot to bring back normalcy. But there's also hesitancy in getting inoculated as people believe fake news and false forwards. One such false information is creating panic among people yet to get the jab.
Citing noted virologist and Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier, a WhatsApp message has been making the rounds in various groups, starting a debate on getting vaccinated or not. Here's the truth behind it.
A viral WhatsApp message claims Montagnier said that people who get vaccinated have no chance of survival. In a bid to add some sense of authenticity, a link to a website called lifesitenews is included.
The message reads as follows:
"All Vaccinated people will die within 2 years: Nobel Prize Winner Luc Montagnier has confirmed that there is no chance of survival for people who have received any form of the vaccine. In the shocking interview, the world's top virologist stated blankly: there is no hope, and no possible treatment for those who have been vaccinated already. We must be prepared to incinerate the bodies. The scientific genius backed claims of other pre eminent virologists after studying the constituents of the vaccine. They will all die from antibody dependent enhancement. Nothing more can be said."
"It's an enormous mistake, isn't it? A scientific error as well as a medical error. It is an unacceptable mistake. The history books will show that, because it is the vaccination that is creating the variants. Many epidemiologists know it and are "silent" about the problem known as "antibody-dependent enhancement," Montagnier said, claims the message.
Soon after the post went viral in WhatsApp groups and on social media, the anti-vaxxers' opinions are growing louder. But is it the whole truth? Let's find out.
International Business Times also received the viral WhatsApp message that has been in circulation for the last couple of days. The article published by Life Site News was published on May 19 with the headline: "Nobel Prize winner: Mass COVID vaccination an 'unacceptable mistake' that is 'creating the variants." The article was originally sourced from US-based RAIR Foundation and Montagnier's interview was published on French website Planet 360.
Based on the articles and interview, Montagnier claims the new COVID variants are a result of vaccines. But the articles only appear to be one-sided without any factual backing and other scientists' claims on vaccines. Montagnier is a known advocate of anti-vaccine community and his views are not surprising. However, the French virologist did not say "there is no hope and no possible treatment for those who have been vaccinated already. We must be prepared to incinerate the bodies."
We also reviewed the original sources and found no mention of vaccinated people dying in two years and even Montagnier didn't say it. It is possible that the reports exaggerated on the virologist's views on "there is no hope and no possible treatment for those who have been vaccinated already. We must be prepared to incinerate the bodies."
ADE is where antibodies generated in an immune response bind to a pathogen but don't prevent infection, and instead exacerbate the immune response. But there is no evidence suggesting that none of the Covid-19 vaccines cause an ADE response. Had it been the case, health experts and scientists would have observed it by now, FullFact.org noted.
In addition, PIB Fact Check and Assam Police have debunked the viral post as fake news.
There is no scientific evidence to support the claims about vaccinated people dying in two years. People should be wary of such claims and refrain from forwarding it further. Hence, IBTimes has arrived at the conclusion that the viral claim is false and baseless.