Adapted from Verificat, May 12
Since April, information has been circulating in Spanish, English, French and Italian, affirming that the US Supreme Court has recently cancelled universal vaccination due to a claim brought by the lawyer Robert F Kennedy Jr, nephew of deceased US President John F Kennedy, against a group of scientists, including Bill Gates and the infectious diseases specialist and White House advisor Anthony Fauci.
The information is FALSE. On the website of the highest North American judicial institution, which compiles all the sentences, there is no ruling on the cancellation of universal vaccination.
The news also claims that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines should be avoided because they modify people’s DNA. It is also FALSE.
Universal vaccination is the principle by which a population is immunised against a disease in a preventive manner. In the US, vaccination management is administered by State governments which have their own laws to impose mandatory immunisation against different infectious diseases. State laws, however, provide for medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions from vaccination.
The constitutional power of States to determine mandatory vaccination was established in 1905, when the Supreme Court pronounced it in the case of Jacobson vs Supreme Court of Massachusetts.
Vaccination against COVID-19, however, is not mandatory in the US, as US President Joe Biden affirmed, but it is a recommendation. The States have the last word to make it mandatory, explained Joanne Rosen, expert in Health Law in an interview with the Bloomberg School of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.
Robert F Kennedy Jr is known for his statements against vaccines without scientific support. Verifiers from the International Fact-checking Network such as AFP, as well as Verificat, have already repeatedly denied his statements.
In 2018, litigation between the anti-vaccines group Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), with the aid of Kennedy, and the US Department of Health in the Southern District Court of New York has been used to say that the US Government do not have proofs of the vaccine’s safety. This is false.
ICAN’s transparency petition showed that the US Department of Health (HHS) had not respected its obligation to report on the safety of some vaccines, but that does not mean that safety protocols have not been respected, as Snopes explains.
Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines use a technology that teaches cells to learn to produce the proteins of a virus to combat infection.
For SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, the mRNA contains the information about the Spike protein (or S protein) which is found at the virus crown. As biochemist Julià Blanco explained to Verificat, “it is not possible for mRNA to modify our genetic code”.
According to the scientist, “our DNA is stored inside the nucleus as in a safe-deposit box and it is impossible for the mRNA to modify our genetic code”.
In an article published at theconversation.com, José María Jiménez Guardeño, researcher at the Infectious Diseases Department at King’s College London, and Ana María Ortega-Prieto, postdoctoral researcher also associated to King’s College London, completely disprove that RNA can alter our DNA and thus damage the genome.
The authors affirm that the RNA molecule is very fragile –so much so that these vaccines have to be preserved in extremely low temperatures– and the time it remains in the cells is very short (hours) (…). Hence, this RNA will not stay inside the cell an enough amount of time to do other things than produce the virus protein and disappear.