COVID-19 Fact Checks

FALSE: COVID-19 vaccines can cause the generation of new variants

Rappler.com
FALSE: COVID-19 vaccines can cause the generation of new variants
The COVID-19 vaccines have been able to reduce the spread of the virus, thereby reducing the risks that these viruses can infect and mutate into new variants
At a glance
  • Claim: COVID-19 vaccines can cause the generation of new variants.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: The COVID-19 vaccines have been able to reduce the spread of the virus, thereby reducing the risks that these viruses can infect and mutate into new variants. 
  • Why we fact-checked this: The video with the claim was posted on February 16, 2022, and has amassed more than 412,000 views and 16,000 reactions as of writing.
Complete details

A video posted by Persida V. Rueda-Acosta, the chief public attorney at the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) features interviews with various individuals sharing their views against the COVID-19 vaccine. In one segment of the video, they made the claim that the COVID-19 vaccine can lead to the creation of “new, infectious pathogenic variants.”

These claims are false. 

According to the World Health Organization, viral mutation is more likely to occur when the virus is able to widely circulate and infect individuals. They add that vaccination, along with the adherence to hand hygiene, physical distancing, and wearing of masks, remains the most effective way of preventing transmission and thereby reducing the risk of viral mutations. 

Expert opinion from a fact check published by Reuters stresses that there is no evidence to support the idea that vaccination can cause the virus to evolve in order to evade the immune response. The same article cites that, when compared to the unvaccinated, those that receive the vaccine are still less likely to contract COVID-19, regardless of the variant. 

In addition, a study published in The Lancet found that those vaccinated against COVID-19 were less likely to contract the Delta variant of COVID-19. And in cases where breakthrough infections in the vaccinated occur, the study found that the vaccinated were able to clear the virus from their bodies much faster than in the unvaccinated group. – Renzo Arceta/Rappler.com

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