An article shared on social media falsely claims that by the end of February everyone in the UK who has received a Covid-19 vaccine will have Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). It also wrongly alleges that “‘vaccine’-related myocarditis” has a 50% five year fatality rate in children.
The article was originally written by UK blog The Exposé, and reproduced by a similar website, The New England National Review. It misuses data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and misquotes a study on myocarditis from 26 years ago.
Neither of these claims are true. We have fact checked similar false claims about vaccines causing AIDS from The Exposé previously. This false claim has spread widely round the world and been debunked by various fact checkers.
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Covid-19 vaccines don’t cause a form of AIDS
The article’s central claim is that “Official UK Government Data” suggests that “Brits” who have been “double/triple” vaccinated will develop “Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome” by the end of February 2022.
It claims: “By the end of February every fully vaccinated person in the UK may have full blown vaccine mediated AIDS according to the UK Governments own data.”
This claim is based on incorrectly interpreting UKHSA data on the number of cases of Covid-19 in the UK from week 47 to week 52 of 2021, categorised by vaccine status.
The article equates the number of Covid-19 cases among vaccinated and unvaccinated people as proof of falling vaccine efficacy, and claims this means that by the end of February vaccines will have reached -100% effectiveness, meaning unvaccinated people would be more protected against Covid-19 than vaccinated people.
However, the data can’t be used to show this. In the footnotes beneath this data it says “Comparing case rates among vaccinated and unvaccinated populations should not be used to estimate vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection.” Research which has looked at vaccine effectiveness has found that they are highly effective, particularly against severe Covid, hospitalisation and death.
While there is some evidence that vaccines become less effective over time, there is no evidence that vaccination reduces your protection against Covid-19.
As we have explained before, even if a vaccine did become -100% ineffective this doesn’t mean vaccinated people would contract AIDS or be unable to fight off Covid either.
If vaccines had -100% efficacy against Covid-19, the case rate among unvaccinated people would have to be zero, but that wouldn’t mean vaccinated people were unprotected from Covid-19. Many people may have an asymptomatic infection or an immune response capable of limiting the severity of the illness.
The immune system is not just there to prevent an infection in the first place; it’s also there to fight an infection once it occurs. A failure of the immune system to prevent infection against one specific disease is not evidence of someone contracting “a form of AIDS”.
AIDS is a late-stage progression of HIV. HIV can only be contracted through direct contact with body fluids from someone who has HIV with a detectable viral load.
As Covid-19 vaccines don’t contain HIV, they cannot cause AIDS.
No evidence that vaccine-associated myocarditis will kill half of children who get it
The article also quotes Dr Anthony Hinton, claiming he said “‘vaccine’-related myocarditis has a 20 percent fatality rate in children after two years and a 50 percent fatality rate in five years”.
However, Dr Hinton’s actual quote does not refer to children, and does not directly mention vaccines. He said: “Viral myocarditis results in 2 in 10 people dead after 2 years and 5 in 10 after 5 years.”
The evidence Dr Hinton refers to is from a study published in 1995. Although it found a myocarditis mortality rate of “20 percent at 1 year and 56 percent at 4.3 years” among trial participants, the patient cohort had a mean age of 42 rather than being children.
More recent research suggests lower mortality rates. A study published in 2020 of viral myocarditis patients with a subset of other cardiac symptoms reported an overall mortality rate of 39.3% over 10 years. Biopsy research from 2012 into viral myocarditis patients also reported a 19.2% mortality rate after 4.7 years.
Up to and including 26 January 2022, more than 52 million people have had at least one dose of a vaccine. Up to 25 January the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) received 1,094 reports of various forms of myocarditis among all vaccines, and eight deaths have been reported. However, these Yellow Card reports are not necessarily proof a vaccine caused a particular reaction
The MHRA states: “The nature of Yellow Card reporting means that reported events are not always proven side effects. Some events may have happened anyway, regardless of vaccination. This is particularly the case when millions of people are vaccinated, and especially when most vaccines are being given to the most elderly people and people who have underlying illness.”
Image courtesy of CDC, free to use under the Unsplash License