Five-year-old research published by ecologist David Kennedy and his colleagues about the possibility of vaccines producing more harmful variants is now viral on all social media platforms. As a result, a majority of people are now refusing to take the coronavirus vaccine. According to a report published in the Associated Press (AP), in 2015, researchers published a scientific paper about a chicken virus. At the time, it got some media attention and has been cited by other scientists in the years since. But now, the paper has created a storm on the internet. In August 2021, the research has been watched by more than 2.7 million people since it was uploaded on YouTube. According to the reports, the video has garnered nearly 70 per cent of views in the past three weeks.
Know the reason behind viral anti-vaccine report
In a conversation with the news agency, the researchers revealed about receiving lakhs of mail regarding the side-effects of inoculating the COVID-19 vaccine. “The paper has gone viral because some people are using it to stoke paranoia that the COVID-19 vaccines will cause the virus to evolve in the direction of even more severe variants. Doctors have told me that patients are using the paper to justify their decision not to get vaccinated. Some pundits are even using it to urge an end to vaccination campaigns in order to prevent the sort of viral evolution we were studying in chickens,” said the researchers.
“I am receiving emails daily from people worried about getting vaccinated themselves or worried about people rejecting vaccination because of misunderstandings about the paper.”
The researchers said they have been working for the last 20 years to evaluate how vaccines might influence the development of disease-causing organisms like microorganisms and malaria parasites. Meanwhile, breaking all the myths and fake news that have been circulated through social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook in the past month, the researchers cleared that they have not yet discovered or even hypothesized that would justify avoiding or withholding vaccines. “If anything, our work adds to reasons for investigating new vaccine schedules – and for developing second-and third-generation vaccines. But in the context of the COVID-19 virus, our work does prompt a fair question: Could vaccination cause the emergence of even more harmful variants?” said the researchers and further appealed to the citizens to take the coronavirus vaccine at the earliest.