Social media users are sharing an article that falsely claims top U.S. infectious disease official Dr Anthony Fauci said that COVID-19 vaccines are spreading the disease. The headline implies that the vaccine itself is causing the spread of the virus, which is false. In reality, Fauci said that vaccinated people with breakthrough infections of the Delta variant show a similar level of virus in the nasopharynx as the unvaccinated cases.
The article titled: “Fauci admits covid ‘vaccines’ are spreading disease” was posted on Aug. 5, 2021 on naturalnews.com (archive.ph/CWfPl). (Reuters has debunked other misinformation published by the outlet, here , here , here , here .)
Host John Dickerson asked Fauci about his understanding of the Delta variant, which has become the dominant variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the United States. (here).
Fauci responded by explaining that no vaccine is 100% effective and that breakthrough infections can happen.
“When you look at the level of virus in the nasopharynx of people who are vaccinated, who get breakthrough infections, it’s really quite high and equivalent to the level of virus in the nasopharynx of unvaccinated people who get infected,” Fauci said in the interview. “That’s very different from the Alpha variant.”
Fauci then explained that the earlier Alpha variant presented an extremely low level of virus in a vaccinated person compared to an unvaccinated infected person, pointing out that we now know vaccinated people with breakthrough infections of the Delta variant can spread the virus to others.
While the article in the posts explains some of this, the isolated headline is misleading on its own and reads as if the vaccines themselves are spreading the virus.
Reuters Fact Check previously debunked the claim that the COVID-19 vaccines cause disease here
Missing context. Fauci did not say the COVID-19 vaccines are spreading the disease. He said that the level of virus in the nasopharynx of vaccinated and unvaccinated people with the Delta variant of the virus are similar and that vaccinated people with breakthrough infections can infect others.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.