Claims about the Covid-19 jab still spread on social media, as the UK continues its vaccination programme.
One website called The Daily Expose published an article claiming that official Covid-19 data was no longer being published in Scotland because it showed vaccinated people were developing acquired immune deficiency syndrome, more commonly known as AIDS.
The article has been shared more than 500 times on Facebook, and has more than 1,000 interactions on Twitter.
Ferret Fact Service looked at this claim and found it False.
The effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine has been called into question repeatedly, despite many studies showing it reduces serious symptoms of the virus.
The Daily Expose, a news and opinion website, has consistently posted misinformation about the vaccine during the pandemic. It suggested that deaths from the vaccine were being covered up by the mainstream media, and repeated claims about the so-called “negative efficacy” of the vaccine which were fact-checked as False by Ferret Fact Service in 2021.
In this latest article, the publication claims that vaccine data published by Public Health Scotland (PHS) shows “for the past few weeks that the fully vaccinated population are developing AIDS”.
It goes on to state that waning vaccine effectiveness shows that the vaccine has damaged people’s immune systems “which implies the fully vaccinated are developing Covid-19 vaccine induced acquired immune deficiency syndrome (VAIDS)”.
AIDS is the name to describe a number of potentially life-threatening infections or illnesses caused by damage to your immune system from the HIV virus.
The Meedan Health Desk, which publishes expert responses to health related queries, said: “Reduced effectiveness of a vaccine does not mean that it is causing people immunodeficiency disorders. Millions of people have been vaccinated and the vaccines are continuously monitored for their effectiveness. So far, there is no evidence to prove this claim.”
The basis for the claim in the Expose article is that data shows the rate of infection for those who are vaccinated is higher than those who are unvaccinated, which the report claims is evidence of a poorer immune system performance for those who have had the jab. It says that the ‘vaccine effectiveness’ is trending towards minus 100 per cent. If so, the article claims, this would be evidence of people vaccinated developing AIDS. This is baseless.
There are many factors which can affect the case rates for Covid-19 among the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. We have written before about the differences between the two groups which mean they cannot be used as an accurate measure of vaccine effectiveness.
There is evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines get less effective over time, but no evidence that the vaccination itself reduces your protection against the virus.
Various claims that somehow the vaccine is leading people to get a form of AIDS has been around for some time, but it is not backed up by scientific evidence.
A claim from early in the pandemic, that certain types of Covid-19 vaccine could cause people to have a higher risk of HIV, originated with a letter published by medical journal, The Lancet, where a group of researchers warned of a potential increased risk from HIV from one of the vaccines then currently in development – The Ad5 vaccine. The letter was later used in anti-vaccine misinformation, but Ferret Fact Service fact-checked this claim in January 2021, finding that none of the potential Ad5 vaccines are used in the UK.
Ferret Fact Service verdict: False
The claim that people who got the Covid-19 vaccine are now developing vaccine-related acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS, or so-called ‘VAIDS’) is baseless. There is no such recognised condition as ‘VAIDS’ and the use of official Scottish Covid-19 data is misleading, and does not show the development of the alleged condition.
Ferret Fact Service (FFS) is a non-partisan fact checker, working to the International Fact-Checking Network fact-checkers’ code of principles.
All the sources used in our checks are publicly available and the FFS fact-checking methodology can be viewed here. Want to suggest a fact check? Go to ideas.theferret.scot, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or join our Facebook group.
Photo thanks to iStock/Toa55.