Are Pfizer and Moderna vaccines gene therapy?

A Reuters fact-checking report says one man's claims against the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines are false
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In a video that has been censored on Facebook due to claims of false information, a man who refers to himself as Dr. David Martin, accompanied by his partner Kim Martin, calls mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines “gene therapy” and questions whether they are actual vaccines.

Martin, who does not have a medical background, challenged two COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna, which are both mRNA-based, and said he is troubled by the companies who are “promoting what they are calling a vaccine”.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine made to protect against infectious diseases. While some traditional vaccines “put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies,” mRNA vaccines “teach our cells how to make a protein…that triggers an immune response inside our bodies”. The immune response then produces antibodies that protect against infection and viruses.

COVID-19 has been approved for emergency use only and is still undergoing experimental trials. Across the world, many countries have been using mRNA-based vaccines to inoculate people.

Martin has a finance and accounting background and calls himself an author, speaker, business executive, and futurist. He said when people hear “vaccine”, one of at least two things is assumed to happen. “One – whatever you are getting is going to keep you from getting infected, [and] two – when you get that vaccine, you are doing your bit to make sure you don’t transmit it to other people.”

He then defines the term “vaccine” from the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), which says it’s “a product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.” He added that neither Pfizer nor Moderna claim that to be the case with their vaccines.

“This thing is not a vaccination,” Martin said. “What they are doing is that they are putting together a synthetic fragment of nucleic acid, it’s not mRNA, it’s not natural, it’s not even a natural component of a fragment.”

He said that the vaccines are a “synthetic fragment, a technology embedded within a fat carrier” that do not work to induce immunity from infection or lessen the symptoms of the virus, and asks: “If it isn’t a vaccine, why are they calling it a vaccine?”

Martin added that the primary endpoint of the clinical trials that were approved was the prevention of “symptomatic COVID-19 disease,” but he then went on to say that “COVID-19 is not a disease, it is a set of symptoms”.

“There is not a shred of evidence from the clinical trials that said anything about protection from infection with SARS COV-2,” he explained. Martin added that these companies have violated the Federal Commission Act due to, what he calls, deceptive practices.

Pfizer and Moderna were some of the first COVID-19 vaccines to be approved for emergency use in some countries, including Canada.

According to a report from Reuters, Martin’s view on the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is false. Reuters dissected another similar video from Martin in which he calls the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine a “device” designed to make people sick, and said that he is a spreader of COVID-19 misinformation.

In the second video, Martin alleged the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine can “induce illness” and called the vaccine a “medical device designed to stimulate the human cell into becoming a pathogen creator”.

His videos have mostly been censored from social media platforms, including YouTube which removed his latest video with his partner shortly after it was posted.

While little is still known about the long-term effects of COVID-19, and the potential side effects of the vaccines, some critics have argued that censorship prevents the ability of people to have a debate on the topics.

Earlier this month, a group of Canadian doctors released a video listing reasons why people should not fear COVID-19, but the video was removed from YouTube within minutes.

Wiki Production Code: A0720

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