Fact checking of the week: COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live organisms, parasites or hydras

Background

Several English language videos, translated into Romanian, in which various people claim that vaccines against COVID-19 contain „translucent organisms, ring-like ring structures, self-propelled tentacle creatures, parasites, hydras, immortal organisms, organisms that can reproduce and replace the organs of a vaccinated person” have gone viral online.

In Romania, these videos and images were distributed on websites, social media groups and pages and Bitchute channels that have systematically spread misleading and toxic narratives right since the beginning of the pandemic. Recently, similar claims have been hosted by wellness-related websites and social media outlets.

Misleading statements

One central figure making these claims is a person presenting herself as “Dr. Carrie Madej”. She claims to have obtained and analyzed several vials from a batch of Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines. On her personal website, Carrie Madej describes herself as an osteopath who dedicates her time to „educating about vaccines, nanotechnology and human rights.” Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has promoted various narratives and misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccines, in particular that they contain „nanotechnologies that will cause permanent genetic changes”.

Following alleged microscopic analysis of the vaccines, Madej claims that she observed „many spherical structures”, „a translucent organism spinning, both back and forth”, „strange, unidentified objects, including metal fragments, graphene-like structures in each of the ampoules and a sprawling creature resembling a moving organism.” In the viral video, Madej shows some microscopic images of moving particles in COVID-19 vaccines, claiming that they are living parasitic microorganisms similar to hydra vulgaris (hydra vulgaris). She suggests that organisms can multiply and form independent neural networks within vaccinated people, ultimately influencing their thoughts and actions.

The facts

Like any other living organism, hydra (Hydra vulgaris) cannot survive the sterilization processes carried out during vaccine manufacturing. Water and other fluids in the vaccine are purified under strict conditions, these processes preventing the development or survival of a live parasite or any organism in the vaccine. Authorized and approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live parasites that can multiply and build neural networks. Dr Amesh Adalja, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told Reuters that “It is not possible that the vaccines contain live parasitic agents. This is an arbitrary claim and ignores the sterility steps that are in place”.

Matthias Eberl, a professor of translational immunology at Cardiff University, says that images presented by Madej “look fabric fibres, cotton fibres or house dust. If you don’t keep your microscope or cover slides clean, this is what it’ll look like.” Eberl presented Reuters several microscopic images of house dust, cotton fibers, plant fibers, which appear to have tentacle-like arms (here, here, here and here). Regarding Madej’s statement that „the particles in the vaccine can move,” Eberl said: “Things in watery solutions always wiggle around, it’s called Brownian motion.”

Recently France24 showed that several videos claiming to show microscopic images of living organisms and parasites identified in vaccines against COVID-19, were, in fact, images and clips taken from news and documentaries on Youtube about hydra vulgaris and other marine microorganisms, images unrelated to COVID-19 vaccines.

Rating: Misleading claims, lacking factual evidence

The ingredients of authorized COVID-19 vaccines (PfizerModernaJohnson & Johnson and Astra Zeneca) do not include hydra or any other living organisms. Authorized and approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live parasites that can multiply and build neural networks.

Misleading narratives fueled by such claims:

– Vaccines are harmful/toxic, they enforce a hidden, “occult”, agenda;

– Vaccines are just a pretext to introduce nanoparticles, chips, and 5G technology into the human body;

– Vaccination is the first step in creating a “society of slaves”, in creating a new species of hybrid humans, remotely controllable („hybrids 3.0”, „transhumanism”).

Tips and tricks for safely navigating digital information

It is important to spot such examples of misleading content. Here are some steps that can help you in this endeavour:

  • check the source (search for background information and signals that the source is a legitimate news organization/publication);
  • consider information coming from verified, mainstream sources, especially when it comes to science and health information;
  • check whether claims are supported by factual evidence and check if data are correctly interpreted and places into the adequate context;
  •  be cautious about clickbait and headlines, especially when it comes to science and health content: “shocking”, “the truth hidden from everyone”, “no one has told you this so far”;
  • don’t automatically give credit to a piece of information just because it originates with an English language source.

Our sources

observers.france24.com – Are there really ‘immortal’ parasites in Covid-19 vaccines? Nope, that’s fake news

reuters.com Fact Check-Unidentified particles in vaccine samples under the microscope are likely contamination

reuters.com – Fact Check-COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live immortal creatures, experts say

pixtastock.com – House dust seen with a microscope

microlabgallery.com – Plant hairs microscop

alamy.com –Trichome – plant hair – under the microscope, horizontal field of view is about 0.58mm

thoughtco.com – An Introduction to Brownian Motion

anm.ro – Prospect vaccin Pfizer/BioNTech

anm.ro – Prospect vaccin Johnson & Johnson

anm.ro – Prospect vaccin Moderna

anm.ro – Prospect vaccin AstraZeneca

politifact.com – ‘Transhumanism nanotechnology’ COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theory is Pants on Fire

antifake.roFact checking-ul săptămânii: Informații pseudo-științifice asociate în mod eronat cu o universitate din Spania

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