Did a new Turkish study suggest that giving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to pregnant women may cause autism in their children?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Study Suggests Pfizer mRNA Vaccine May Cause Autism!
The Children’s Health Defense (CHD) activist group, which is chaired by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., just posted an article suggesting that a new Turkish study suggests that giving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to pregnant women may cause autism in their children!
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Truth : Study Did Not Suggest Pfizer mRNA Vaccine Causes Autism!
Let’s take a closer look at the study from Turkey, and find out what the facts really are!
Fact #1 : mRNA Vaccines Are Not Gene Therapies
Let me just start by pointing out that the first sentence in the CHD article is factually wrong – mRNA vaccines are not gene therapies. It’s really peculiar for anyone to make such a claim.
mRNA vaccines do not enter the cell nucleus, and do not modify our cell DNA. There is no danger of “genomic integration”. The mRNA is also transitory – being broken down by the cell after some time.
Gene therapies, on the other hand, are designed to make permanent changes to a patient’s DNA, by adding a functional copy of a gene, disabling a gene, or activating an existing gene.
Fact #2 : Bridging Studies Do Not Require Long Trials
I also find it odd that the article took pains to point out that the mRNA vaccines for pregnant women were approved after “just 11 weeks of testing”. Does the CHD have any evidence that this is insufficient time to determine the vaccines’ safety and efficacy in pregnant women?
It is interesting that the article failed to mention that the 11-week trial involved more than 35,000 individuals who received the Pfizer or Moderna mNRA vaccine during or shortly before pregnancy, making it the largest trial (at that time) on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women.
I should point out that that wasn’t a full-blown Phase 3 clinical trial, which both Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines had already passed with flying colours months earlier. That was a bridging study, which does not require long trials. So any suggestion or insinuation that they should take the “average time” of 8.5 years is nonsensical.
In any case, the COVID-19 vaccines continue to be monitored for safety and efficacy long after their approvals. If any COVID-19 vaccine was found to have a bad side effect, its approval would be rescinded.
Fact #3 : Study Never Suggested mRNA Vaccines Cause Autism In Humans
I should point out that the Turkish study never suggested that mRNA vaccines given to pregnant women may cause neurodevelopmental harm to their children. The authors stated this clearly. More on this in the next section.
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Fact #4 : It Was An Animal Study
The paper from Turkey by Mumim Alper Erdogan et. al., which is called Prenatal Exposure to COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 Induces Autism-Like Behaviors in Male Neonatal Rats: Insights into WNT and BDNF Signaling Perturbations, is available for public access (archive).
As the title points out – the Turkish study was conducted on rats, specifically Wistar rats. Therefore, the results obviously do not necessarily translate to actual human beings.
While rats are mammals too, they are not miniature human beings, and respond differently to chemicals, drugs, and yes, vaccines too. Therefore, the results of any animal study should not be used to draw any conclusions about human beings. The authors themselves pointed this out:
Fact #5 : Pfizer Vaccine Dose Was Extremely High
To conduct their experiments, the Turkish researchers impregnated 15 female Wistar rats, splitting them into two groups – 7 receiving a saline solution (control group), and 8 receiving the Pfizer mRNA vaccine. However, it does not appear that the rats were given the appropriate dosage of the Pfizer vaccine.
Human adults receive 30 μg of the Pfizer vaccine in each dose. Given that the average female adult weight is 77.5 kg / 170.8 pounds (per CDC), and the average Wistar rat in that experiment weighed about 220 grams, each female rat should have received only 0.085 μg – 1/352th of the human dose.
Instead, each female Wistar rat was injected with 30 μg of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine – equivalent to 10,560 μg in human dosage, or 352 vaccine doses in one shot. This was the same problem we saw with an earlier Belgian study on the Pfizer vaccine causing turbo cancer.
This decision to use such a high dose of the Pfizer vaccine (in relative terms) makes the experiment a poor reflection of actual vaccine safety in human beings. Anything taken at such high doses would likely be toxic. Even water, when taken in large amounts, is toxic to humans.
Fact #6 : Study Did Not Test COVID-19 Infection
The study suggested in its introduction that the spike protein – whether produced by “natural viral infection” or “post vaccination” may potentially cause “neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism”.
Unfortunately, the study did not test that hypothesis by testing to see if COVID-19 infection also causes similar changes in the progeny of pregnant Wistar rats. So it is impossible to know if it was a component in the Pfizer vaccine, or the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, that caused those changes in the rat babies.
Think about it – if it was really the spike protein that caused those changes, then the benefits of vaccination would still outweigh the risks. After all, COVID-19 vaccines only create a limited number of spike protein analogues to trigger the immune system into learning how to create antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
On the other hand, the actual COVID-19 infection will create an unlimited number of SARS-CoV-2 viruses – each covered with spike proteins! The longer the COVID-19 infection persists, the more cells are infected to produce more SARS-CoV-2 viruses… and yes, more spike proteins!
Fact #7 : Authors Warned Against Drawing Conclusions
I should end by pointing out that the authors of this study themselves warned against drawing any conclusions about whether the Pfizer vaccine causes autism in human beings.
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