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Experts have rejected false claims by a US doctor regarding the safety of mRNA vaccines (AFP / Patrick T. Fallon)US doctor spreads false information about Covid-19 mRNA vaccinesKatarina Subašić, AFP Belgrade Facebook Twitter Email Published on Wednesday 18 August 2021 at 11:07Updated on Thursday 19 August 2021 at 16:50Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.A video shared on Facebook in which an American doctor makes several claims about mRNA vaccines against Covid-19 has been viewed nearly 900 times in Ethiopia. But the doctor’s claims are false, experts told AFP Fact Check. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines that use mRNA technology are considered safe, and millions of doses have been administered. The Facebook post features a 17-minute video of an American doctor, Ryan Cole, making several false claims about mRNA vaccines, including that they are toxic and that the spike protein in the vaccine causes “the same disease as Covid-19” and damages vital organs.The video has been viewed more than 900 times since it was posted on Facebook on August 3, 2021. The caption of the post is written in Amharic.“The fact that many are against the Covid vaccine isn’t unfounded. Listen to what science has to say about it from this doctor. For those of you who are not vaccinated, it’s still not too late,” part of the translated caption reads. Screenshot of the false Facebook post, taken on August 17, 2021Cole, a dermatopathologist and owner of a medical laboratory in the US state of Idaho, is known for his anti-vaccine stance. Other fact-checking organisations have previously debunked claims made by Cole (see here and here).This latest viral video of Cole was recorded during a summit for American Frontline Doctors (AFLD) held in Texas on July 27, 2021. The group claims to be an impartial non-profit organisation, but is known for spreading misinformation about Covid-19. The same video was also shared with Serbian subtitles, which AFP Fact Check debunked here. However, experts told AFP Fact Check that Cole’s claims are false and based on misinterpretations of scientific studies. AFP Fact Check addresses several of Cole’s claims below.Spike protein in mRNA vaccinesIn the video, Cole focuses on mRNA vaccines, such as those developed by Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna.Their technology differs from traditional vaccines. Instead of injecting weakened or dead forms of a virus, causing the immune system to recognise the virus and build antibodies, mRNA vaccines deliver instructions to cells to build a harmless piece of the “spike protein” found on the surface of the virus that causes Covid-19. After creating this spike protein, cells can recognise and fight the real virus. In his speech, Cole claims that after an mRNA vaccine is injected, “the spike protein doesn’t stay just in the deltoid, the spike circulates in your blood and lands in multiple organs”.Citing an unnamed study on laboratory animals, Cole further claims that the spike protein created in the mRNA vaccine causes the same diseases as Covid-19. “The same lung disease, the same vascular disease, the same heart disease, the same brain disease. Spike is a poison,” he said. However, these claims are false. “S[pike] protein does not ‘circulate’ in the body,” Dr. Oliver Stojkovic, a geneticist and professor at the Medical Faculty of the University of Belgrade told AFP Fact Check.“Some extremely small amounts of this protein could be found (in the first few days) in the blood, but it will be broken down by passing through the liver and eliminated through the kidneys through urine.”Milos Babic, a molecular biologist, neurobiologist and research director at BioSpyder Technologies, agreed with Stojkovic.“Extremely small amounts of spike protein can enter the circulation (picograms, which can only be detected by the most sensitive detection methods we have). But no, it can’t cause the problems caused by Covid, not even close,” he told AFP Fact Check.“Even if we imagine some toxicity of the spike protein itself, the levels and spread throughout the body are WAY higher during infection (even mild infections) than with the vaccine. Even then, it would be far wiser to get vaccinated than to get infected.”Spike proteins do not ‘circulate’ for weeksTo support his claims, Cole refers to a Harvard study of 13 nurses who received both doses of mRNA vaccines. The study found that 11 of the participants had “detectable levels of SARS-CoV-2 protein” after receiving their first dose.However, one of the authors of the study, researcher David Walt, told AFP Fact Check that the results of the study have been misinterpreted. The goal was to collect scientific data on the circulation of antigens, which are spike proteins specific to the SARS-CoV-2 that allow the production of antibodies.In the small study, the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 proteins progressively decreased as antibody concentration increased. Partial spikes disappeared from the plasma of all vaccinated individuals after 14 day

Source: US doctor spreads false information about Covid-19 mRNA vaccines | Fact Check