Uncle Jacques throws fake news at Christmas dinner? Here is what to answer him


Who says end-of-year celebrations, says heated debates during family meals. And the precautions to be taken to limit the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable will not change anything. Global warming, presidential election, management of the health crisis… There is no shortage of subjects.

In view of the multiple theories widely disseminated on social networks and in the media, in particular on Covid-19, vaccination, the health pass, among others, fake news is likely to be numerous. 20 Minutes has therefore prepared a few arguments for you to answer them at the table.

Fake news number 1: « The vaccines against the Covid-19 do not work because the positive people are more and more numerous »

Certainly the favorite shortcut of antivax, which is nonetheless false! The direct objective of vaccines today is not to make Covid-19 disappear. The World Health Organization has moreover several times referred to “living with it”. The reference site Vaccination info service explains that « vaccines against Covid-19 protect you against the disease by reducing the risk of catching it and especially of having a serious form ».

It is also specified that « among the vaccinated, even if the transmission decreases, it remains possible, it therefore remains essential to continue to apply all the barrier measures ».

To say that vaccines are ineffective in the face of Covid-19 because the cases are increasing is therefore false. At the start of the campaign, at the end of 2020, they were rated 90% effective. However, it is correct to say that vaccines could lose effectiveness due to the arrival of new variants, including Omicron. On December 14, a study carried out in South Africa went in this direction. This work, developed by the country’s leading private health insurance company, Discovery, with scientists from the South African Council for Medical Research (SAMRC), is based on 78,000 PCR tests carried out between November 15 and December 7. He indicates that the « double dose of the Pfizer vaccine shows a 70% effectiveness in reducing hospitalizations » against Omicron, according to Discovery president Ryan Noach.

The benefit-risk balance presented on the French government website is a good indicator of the effectiveness of vaccination.

Fake news number 2: « The government wants to hide the truth from us, the proof with the adverse effects of the Covid-19 vaccines »

On the contrary, there is a real policy of transparency with regard to vaccines, and this is done at European level. All data on anti-Covid-19 injections are available on the website of the European Medicines Agency. Whether it is marketing authorizations, advances on other vaccines and treatments, but also on adverse effects. For each of the injections of Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen and Astrazeneca, there is a census at European level. Then everything is available in the form of tables. It contains a list of undesirable effects and their classification according to sex, age and geographic origin.

Let’s kill two birds with one stone, we can answer the following false information: « There are more risks than benefits with the many side effects ». A month ago, Diane Bandon-Tourret, lawyer specializing in health, explained to 20 Minutes : “There is constant monitoring which allows information to be gathered at European level. The risk-benefit balance is constantly monitored, and it must remain positive. So, since the conditional marketing authorization is based on it, it is impossible for the risks to outweigh the benefits from the vaccination.

And if around the turkey, the argument is based on the rumor that Emmanuel Macron has classified all documents on the epidemic as a defense secret, well it’s false, as we explained to you last month.

Fake news number 3: « Vaccination against Covid-19 makes it possible to chip the entire population to control it »

From the start of the vaccination campaign, the rumor was widely shared on social networks. For some, a chip injected through the vaccine could even contain 5G, which would allow people to be tracked. The recent innovation from Swedish company DSruptive Subdermals has only reinforced these beliefs. It has developed a subcutaneous chip in which users can save their personal data, including the health pass. Unlike France, the Swedes are used to these chips. In recent years, several thousand have had an electronic implant inserted under the skin to replace keys, business cards, train tickets, etc.

For this theory to be valid, it would be necessary on the one hand for the chip to be injectable by a very fine needle, and on the other hand for a chip of such a small size to be able to return a signal powerful enough to be exploited. Today these two parameters are not compatible, as explained The Conversation, a medium that offers content from the university community.

Researchers show that the antenna that would allow the exchange of information with such a small chip is impossible to achieve today. To carry out their calculations, they took into account the fact that the frequencies used in wireless telephony transmissions have been increased by 10 in twenty years. According to their estimates, « it will therefore be necessary to wait sixty years for the frequency of wireless transmissions to allow the creation of antennas small enough to be able to inject a chip into a vaccine ».

And since we like gifts and there is no lack of false information on the subject, here are some articles made by 20 Minutes this year to be even stronger against fake news. In the vaccines category: no effective antibiotics have been banned by the government, the AP-HP does not conduct illegal clinical trials on vaccines, the European Union has not planned seven doses per citizen…

And more generally on Covid-19: we do not already know the dates of discovery of the new variants, Ivermectin is not effective against Covid-19 …

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