Pfizer, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies has been mired in conspiracy theories on social media since it announced that it was producing an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19.
Many anti-vaccination groups and conspiracy theorists have relentlessly targeted the vaccine as well as the company. Fake messages are now floating suggesting that CEO Albert Bourla's wife died after she took the vaccine and that he has been arrested for fraud. The vaccine has also been falsely claimed to contain graphene which could be dangerous to humans.
BOOM highlights some of the misinformation about the vaccine that found its way to India. The vaccine was supposed to be launched India but the government and the manufacturer were at loggerheads. Pfizer sought an indemnity that would help it not face any legal challenges if any recipient faced severe adverse events after taking the vaccine.
CEO And Family Dragged Into Vaccine Misinformation
Social media was filled with posts claiming that CEO Albert Bourla's wife, Myriam, died after taking the COVID-19 vaccine. This article was published by a Canadian website called The Conservative Beaver which earlier falsely claimed that the CEO was arrested from his New York residence by the FBI for indulging in fraud. They published this piece when Pfizer was set to launch its anti-COVID pill and when a whistleblower shared that one of its quality assurance and clinical trial partners was manipulating clinical trial data. Beaver exclusives, as these articles are called, have unnamed sources and repeatedly claim that the US has ordered a media blackout for news pertaining to Pfizer.
Chips And Data Tracker Conspiracies
Along with defaming Bourla, many of the anti-vaxxers are also suggesting that Pfizer along with BioNTech (its partner for the vaccine) are collecting real time data from people's bodies. There have been several claims stating Pfizer has tied up with Bill Gates to insert a Microsoft chip in the vaccine that will be transferred to one's body with the shot.
An image of a US patent registration document with the claim that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine has been approved to be used for "remote contact tracing of all vaccinated humans worldwide is also in circulation. In actuality, the screenshot shows a US Patent registration document, which describes a system that uses Bluetooth in mobile phones to determine the potential infectiousness of an individual based on their movements.
Fake News About Contents And Technology Of The Vaccine
It has been falsely stated that the vaccine contains graphene oxide, and parasites. Furthermore, there is a group of doctors that propagate false information about the mRNA technology used in the vaccine. Doctors such as Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche, Dr. Ryan Cole, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, Dr. Byram Bridle have time and again claimed that the spike protein in the mRNA vaccine alters the DNA of humans and that the vaccine is magnetic.
The conspiracy theorists have also stated that Tromethamine added to the vaccine to prolong storage causes blood clots and respiratory issues.
Misinformation About Side Effects
Along with the contents, there have been many instances of misinformation around the side effects of the vaccine. From deaths to paralysis, people have shared that the vaccine can cause many adverse events to dissuade people from taking the vaccine.
Fake articles about studies suggesting that the mRNA vaccines cause cancer were very viral at the onset of COVID vaccination. To ensure that people stray away from taking the vaccine, many posts also claimed that the vaccine causes infertility in both males and females. Posts also claimed that the vaccine was causing miscarriages among women without any proof.
A woman pretending to be a nurse also falsely claimed that she suffered from Bell's Palsy, a face paralysis. This stemmed from articles that said the mRNA vaccine was causing neurodegenerative disorders leading to memory, processing, and movement disorders.
Conspiracy theorists also claimed that the COVID drug that the company has just launched, treats the side effects of the vaccines. The drug in reality is an anti-COVID pill which targets SARS-CoV-2 in the body.
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