Anti-vaxxers claim that the covid-19 vaccines are dangerous and would kill “millions of people in the world” by allowing the Spike protein to multiply in the body of the vaccinated to “poison them slowly”, affirms a South African doctor in a viral video on the social media since the end of November. The scientific data known so far goes against these claims, according to several experts interviewed by AFP.

THE SPIKE PROTEIN AND MRNA VACCINES

The Spike protein, also known as the S protein, allows the SARS-CoV-2 virus to attach to and enter a host cell. It also creates the “crown” shape of the virus, which gives it its name. Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been the subject of much research, as indicated on the website of the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm).

Spike is thus central to the functioning of mRNA vaccines against coronavirus. However, these vaccines do not contain the protein itself, but rather transmit a genetic instruction manual so that it can be constructed by our bodies. This is the principle behind the Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines. They use RNA fragments to stimulate the body’s muscle cells to produce S proteins, as detailed on this page of the Inserm website.

Unlike a case of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the S protein produced after vaccination is not multiplied by the proliferation of the virus. The muscle cells produce it mainly locally and only for a short period of time, after which the body breaks it down, explained Peter Murray, director of the research group on immune regulation at the German Max Planck Institute for Biological Research, in early June.

David Walt, a professor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard University in the U.S., also said on June 11 that in some patients with severe infections, where the virus multiplies in the body, it is true that these proteins can be present in large numbers in the body and be toxic. But this is not the case in vaccinated patients.

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