Posts are sharing the false statement that the spike protein in COVID-19 vaccines is cytotoxic, suggesting that it kills or damages cells. There is no evidence to support this.
The text in the posts read: “THE FDA WAS ALERTED MONTHS AGO THAT THE SPIKE PROTEIN IN THE COVID VACCINES ARE CYTOTOXIC. CYTOTOXIC: TOXIC TO CELLS. THE FDA DID NOTHING AND STILL ALLOW PEOPLE TO CONTINUE BEING INJECTED WITH A CYTOTOXIC SUBSTANCE. FACT CHECK THAT!!!”
The 15-minute video shows three individuals discussing the COVID-19 vaccine and the spike protein is repeatedly described as “very dangerous” and “cytotoxic.”
Reuters Fact Check previously debunked a similar claim (here) that spike proteins created in response to mRNA vaccines are harmful or toxic to the body.
“So far, there is no scientific evidence available that suggests spike proteins created in our bodies from the COVID-19 vaccines are toxic or damaging our organs,” experts at the Meedan Digital Health Lab (meedan.com/digital-health-lab) said. (here)
Research shows that spike proteins (here) remain stuck to the cell surface around the injection site and do not travel to other parts of the body via the bloodstream, they added. The 1% of the vaccine that does reach the bloodstream is destroyed by liver enzymes.
Pharmacologist Sabina Vohra-Miller (www.vohramillerfoundation.ca/) produced a Twitter infographic explaining how spike proteins from the vaccine are harmless (here).
Anna Durbin, Professor of International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told Reuters via email that the spike itself is not cytotoxic.
“When you are vaccinated, your cells use the mRNA (or DNA from adenovirus vector) to make spike protein in your cells. Your cells “show” your immune system the spike protein and pieces of the spike protein. The spike protein does not kill those cells, it is not cytotoxic,” Durbin explained.
The T cells, which make up a part of the immune system, then see the spike protein and remember it so that if there is exposure to the virus later, they can recognize it and kill the infected cells, Durbin said.
False. There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are cytotoxic (toxic to cells).
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
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