With the news that Pfizer’s Covid-19vaccine has been approved, anti-vaxx conspiracy theories continue to proliferate – and one doctor has taken up the task of debunking them all.
Rising above the noise of fraudulent claims and baseless conjecture is NHS doctor Ben Janaway, who took to Twitter to share his expert opinion on vaccines and why we have very little to worry about.
And he did it all in one minute.
Vaccine mythbusting in one minute.
— Dr Benjamin Janaway (@Dr Benjamin Janaway)
In the video, Janaway begins by explaining what exactly a vaccine is and how they help the body’s immune system.
“Vaccines are made of an inert or dead form of a virus inserted into the body so the body's white blood cells – i.e. its immune system – can develop a natural immune response, so when encountering a wild-type version of a virus, it breaks it down without any symptoms,” he says. “This breaks the chain of infection and reduces deaths. Millions in fact.”
He continues by dismissing the conspiracy theories that suggest any links between vaccines, autism and Alzheimer’s disease.
“The link between vaccines and autism and vaccines and Alzheimer’s has been completely disproven by large scale studies,” he adds. “There are no dead babies, bits of dead babies, or bits of anything else in a vaccine that is going to harm you. This is all myth.”
Janaway then concludes by addressing the real but rare risks associated with vaccines. And again, he stresses that it’s extremely unlikely you’ll encounter any of these problems:
“The actual risks of vaccines are: there is a risk of anaphylactic shock, which is vanishingly low; a risk of allergic reaction to foodstuffs that can be used (and they will ask before they give it); risk of local tissue damage (well, it is putting a needle in somebody); and a small risk of more general tissue damage, but once again, this is extremely low. You may get a few symptoms which is the body’s immune reaction, but not the virus itself.”
At a time when it feels impossible to escape from anti-vax conspiracy theorists, it’s more important than ever to listen to the experts.