COVID-19 conspiracy theories: how to have ‘the talk’ 

COVID-19 conspiracy theories: how to have ‘the talk’
by Dr Orna YOUNG
11 December 2020

Any discussion of COVID-19 and the development and introduction of vaccines to combat it invariably gives rise to talk about conspiracy theories. “Is it part of a global ‘plandemic?’ Are the vaccines being introduced to track us?” We have all seen these types of comments and discussions taking place online. Continue reading COVID-19 conspiracy theories: how to have ‘the talk’ 

COVID-19 vaccines and microchip devices

Back in June 2020, Kanye West revealed that he had contracted coronavirus in February. He expressed reservations about possible vaccines, encompassing many frequently shared claims:

“It’s so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralyzed,” he claimed. “So when they say the way we’re going to fix Covid is with a vaccine, I’m extremely cautious. That’s the mark of the beast. They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things, to make it where we can’t cross the gates of heaven.”

A lot of this sounds like something you’d watch in an episode of Black Mirror. But is there any truth to it? Is any of it even possible? Continue reading COVID-19 vaccines and microchip devices

COVID-19 vaccines and aborted fetuses

UPDATE: For clarity, this article was updated on 2/2/2021, with statements of the use of MRC-5 and HEK 293 cell lines in the design and testing of some vaccines.

At the time of writing (7/12/2020), there are 78 COVID-19 vaccines in development. Thirteen are in third stage trials, and seven have limited approval for use. The Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine was the first to be approved for use in the UK on 2 December 2020. 

Concerns have been expressed on social media that COVID-19 vaccines are made from aborted fetuses, and some people object to the vaccines on religious and ethical grounds.

Most of the COVID-19 vaccines in development do not use human cell lines in their production. For example, Pfizer and Moderna use mRNA technology.  Continue reading COVID-19 vaccines and aborted fetuses

The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine: What is it and how has it been developed so quickly?

The Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has been approved for use in the UK from the week commencing 6 December 2020. This means that the UK has become the first country in the world to approve the vaccine for widespread use. MHRA, the British regulator, says the jab, which offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 illness, is safe for distribution. Continue reading The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine: What is it and how has it been developed so quickly?

Is COVID-19 being put fraudulently on death certificates?

CLAIM: COVID-19 is being put on death certificates fraudulently, without a test having been carried out and when the patient died of something else.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. While it is true that not everyone who was suspected of dying from COVID-19 was positively tested, it is legal and not fraudulent for a doctor to rely on their knowledge and belief of the cause of death, including cases where the person showed symptoms of COVID-19. Continue reading Is COVID-19 being put fraudulently on death certificates?

Are death rates no higher this year than in a bad flu season?

CLAIM: The death rate in Northern Ireland is no higher in 2020 than in previous years.

CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. The imprecision of “death rates” and “a bad flu season” makes it difficult to prove or disprove. However, the overall number of deaths registered in the second quarter of 2020 (4,684) is the highest of any second quarter figures recorded in the last ten years. Excess deaths in Northern Ireland have been higher in 2020 than in any of the previous ten years. Continue reading Are death rates no higher this year than in a bad flu season?