After using old antivax tropes against COVID-19 vaccines, antivaxxers are pivoting to reuse them to attack measles vaccines again. Everything old is new again—and old again.
Recently, antivaxxers were all over social media after Tucker Carlson touted a “revelation” that the phase 3 clinical trial used to support licensure of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine didn’t examine its ability to block transmission as meaning that its inability to block transmission had been “covered up”. It wasn’t, and antivaxxers are ignoring everything we’ve learned over the last two years to make the claim that vaccines “don’t prevent transmission”.
An old school “vaccines cause autism” antivaxxer hosted new COVID-19 antivaxxers at an antivax conference last month. Although one new antivaxxer, Geert Vanden Bossche, was discomfited and pushed back against old antivax tropes, the rest joined Del Bigtree in spewing longstanding antivax tropes.
Geert Vanden Bossche is back, and this time he’s blaming COVID-19 vaccines for driving the evolution of more dangerous “escape variants” of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the disease, that are capable of evading vaccine-induced immunity. As antivaxxers making this argument always do, unfortunately, he ignores the much larger problem in which free circulation of the virus is a far more powerful driver of evolution than the relatively small proportion of the world population that has as yet been vaccinated.
Geert Vanden Bossche is a scientist who published an open letter warning of global catastrophe due to deadly variants of COVID-19 selected for by mass vaccination. His argument sounds a lot like an argument Andrew Wakefield once made for MMR. There’s even grift likely involved!