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Original title: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: The COVID-19 vaccine should be avoided at all costs
A well-known anti-vaccination and conspiracy theorist is spreading inaccurate information about COVID-19 vaccines.
On December 7th, the Free World portal published an article titled Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: The COVID-19 vaccine should be avoided at all costs. The content is an alleged urgent message from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – son of the US Attorney General who served during the presidency of his brother, President Kennedy.
The message is that the COVID-19 vaccine should be avoided at all costs. According to Kennedy, these new vaccines were a crime against humanity because the latest generation of unverified mRNA vaccines intervened directly in a patient’s genetic material and altered his or her individual genetic material. Supposedly, the effects of the vaccine could no longer be treated simply by removing toxins from the human body, just like in people with a genetic defect such as Down syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, Turner syndrome, stopping genetic heart disease, hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, Rett syndrome, etc., because the genetic defect was eternal.
The portal publishes a text without checking the veracity of the content of Kennedy’s alleged message. Namely, the claim of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. conveying the portal is incorrect. His claim has been viral since September, when it was exposed as inaccurate by Argentine fact-checker chequeado.com.
It is not true that vaccines cause problems in human DNA. Mark Linas, a visiting researcher in the Alliance of Science group at Cornell University in the United States, told Reuters that no vaccine could genetically modify human DNA.
“It is nothing more than a myth, often deliberately propagated by anti-vaccination activists to create confusion and mistrust,” Linas said. He added: “Genetic modification would involve the intentional insertion of foreign DNA into the nucleus of a human cell, and vaccines simply do not.As far as DNA vaccines are concerned, DNA does not integrate into the cell nucleus, which means that it is not a genetic modification.”
The World Health Organization also explains that these types of vaccines are safe, and the US regulator has already confirmed that the Pfizer / Biotech (based on mRNA) vaccine is 95% effective, paving the way for its approval for emergency use.
The Canadian Globe and Mail has written about how Kennedy became a “super spreader” of scams for COVID-19, vaccines, 5G and more. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was once a recognized environmentalist, but his anti-vaccination views and conspiracy theories made him a magnet for disinformation during the pandemic. Once considered a hero for his decades of work as an environmental lawyer, he has garnered huge support on social media and is one of the biggest “super spreaders” of medical disinformation. Like other conspiracy theorists, he became popular during the pandemic by adapting his vaccine messages to respond to the crisis, falsely blaming Bill Gates for the security of 5G telecommunications networks.
“Kennedy Jr. is one of the main opponents of vaccines,” said Tim Caulfield, a professor of health law and science policy at the University of Alberta. “It has some credibility because of its name and its work in the field of ecology, so it is more likely to be considered a credible source.”
Taking advantage of the anxiety and social unrest caused by the virus, antivaxxers are increasingly focusing their attention on COVID-19. Especially now, in the period of approval and initiation of vaccination against COVID-19, disinformation of this kind can only harm and complicate the process of dealing with the pandemic. The public should be aware that vaccines are subject to control by regulators regarding their safety and efficacy before being approved for use.