Rumor – The WHO attested that the vaccine is ineffective against the Ômicron variant and also said that booster doses can damage the immune system.
You remember that nonsense that President Jair Bolsonaro said about vaccines causing an AIDS-like reaction in people. As absurd and false as the information is (and this was shown by Boatos.org and even remembered in our fake news retrospective), there are still people who insist on similar theses.
The other day, a fake news pointed out that reports from Germany denounced that vaccines caused AIDS. Today, messages circulating on social media point out that vaccines, according to the WHO, “damage the immune system” in the case of booster doses. The text also pointed out that this would be proof of the ineffectiveness of immunization agents against the Ômicron variant. Read the text circulating online:
WHO AND EMA DECLARED: BOOSTER DOSES CAN DAMAGE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM (even so, governments are still firm in mass inoculation) WHO experts, commented on the vaccination strategy with boosters, warning that relying only on these doses additional currents to protect against serious disease may be an unsustainable long-term strategy.
In other words, the WHO attests to the substantial ineffectiveness of the serum against current mutations, stimulating the production of new drugs. The European Medicines Agency (Ema) has joined the WHO and warns that excess boosters of this “immunizer” can lead to “problems with the immune response”. Any surprises?
WHO says booster doses of Covid-19 vaccine can damage immune system?
It didn’t take long for the claim to spread and be interpreted in various ways by denialists. But there is one detail: it is not true that the WHO said that people’s immune systems will be damaged because of booster doses of vaccines against Covid-19.
What actually happened was the mixture of several real information that ended up distorting some facts. The basis for the thesis in question was an article by Agência Ansa about the debate over a fourth dose, a story by The New York Times about the fourth dose in Israel and one by the Jerusalem Post website.
By reading the base articles, we can detect a content distortion that suggests that vaccines are ineffective and harmful. There is none of this in the sources presented.
To begin with, the WHO did not say that vaccines can damage the immune system and that they are ineffective. On the contrary, the text of Ansa (which had an excerpt clipped) begins, precisely, with a statement that points out that vaccines “have a high impact on the prevention of infection and transmission, as well as on the prevention of serious diseases and death, they are necessary and must be developed”. What was meant by that?
1) The vaccines that have been applied already protect against serious cases and deaths in relation to Covid-19 (such as the Ômicron variant). However, the WHO urged that, before more booster shots are given (the debate is not about the third dose, supported by experts, but about a fourth dose), vaccines be updated to protect against Ômicron (this article in AFP published on UOL about the same speech by the WHO is clear about this).
2) At no point do “WHO experts say that vaccines damage the immune system”. In fact, there was an attribution of speech by a source heard in the NY Times story to the WHO. However, the person who said this is not from the WHO and, on top of that, he did not talk about “falling the immune system” in the sense understood by some (as if it were AIDS) but rather a fall in protection against Covid-19.
3) The article did not take into account the “other side of the debate”, something that was presented by the NY Times. There are, yes, experts who point out that the best strategy is to give the fourth dose of the vaccine. This would guarantee a boost to the falling immunization and have some rate of effectiveness over the Ômicron. And, reinforcing, the fourth dose does not cause AIDS, drop the person’s natural immunity or turn you into an alligator, a boy into a girl or cause any damage trumpeted by denialists.
4) There is no suggestion that the third dose of the vaccine is not given (something more related to our reality) and, much less, that there is a mass infection of Ômicron (which is an idea that does not take into account that many people can die because of the strategy). It is worth remembering that just yesterday we wrote a text that pointed out that the thesis that “vaccines kill more than Covid-19 or that Ômicron” is false.
Bottom line: it is not true that the WHO said that extra doses of vaccines harm the immune system. The World Health Organization only advocated that, before a fourth dose, vaccines be updated. The person who talked about “immunization” was not referring to the system as a whole, but to protection against Covid-19 (which falls over time and is nothing new). Finally, the talk that it is better to be infected than to be vaccinated is a fallacy, as is the thesis that “vaccines are ineffective”. If we didn’t have a certain part of the people immunized, the number of deaths with Ômicron (even being a weaker variant) would be higher. T
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