Many social media users are sharing posts claiming that Luc Montagnier, a French virologist who received Nobel Prize, has said that those administered with coronavirus vaccine will die within two years.
A Facebook user shared a video clip of Luc Montagnier where he is heard questioning the vaccination drive. He is heard saying, "Should we be vaccinating during a pandemic? It's unthinkable. They are silent…many people know this. Epidemiologists know it. It is the antibodies produced by the virus that enables the infection to become stronger. It's what we call Antibody-Dependent Enhancement, which means antibodies favour a certain infection. The antibody attaches to the virus; from that moment, it has the receptors, the antibodies, we have them in the macrophage etc. It pokes the virus and not accidentally, but because of the fact that they're linked to the antibodies. It is clear that the new variants are created by antibody-mediated selection due to the vaccination. OK?"
The post is also viral on Twitter.
The Logical Indian also received the post for verification on its Whatsapp number +91 6364000343.
Those who are vaccinated against coronavirus will die within 2 years.
The Logical Indian observed the 2-minute-video of Luc Montagnier, which is being shared online. The video has the logo of the RAIR Foundation, which describes itself as a grassroots activist organisation.
A website, LIFE SITE, has also reported the story attributing the RAIR foundation in which Luc Montagnier said mass vaccination against the coronavirus during the pandemic is "unthinkable" and a historical blunder that is "creating the variants" and leading to deaths from the disease.
According to the RAIR foundation's report published on May 18, 2021, Luc Montagnier, who won Noble Prize in 2008, has called the coronavirus vaccination drive an "unacceptable mistake", claiming that the vaccine is making more variants of coronavirus. This report was based on an interview of Montagnier with Pierre Barnérias of Hold-Up Media. But none of these mentions that those having coronavirus vaccine will die within 2 years.
PIB Fact Check also tweeted and reported the claim to be fake.
Later RAIR Foundation also published a report on May 25, 2021, clarifying that Luc Montagnier has not said that people who have received coronavirus jab will die within 2 years.
Hence, we can conclude that posts claiming that Nobel laureate said that those administered with a jab will die within 2 years are false.
Now let us check the claims made by Luc Montagnier
Claim 1: Coronavirus vaccine is leading to variant:
In the interview, Luc said, "It is clear that the new variants are created by antibody-mediated selection due to the vaccination." A similar theory was viral in December 2020, when the United Kingdom started its vaccine drive from December 8, 2020, with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Then many people claimed that it is due to the vaccine that the new variant, identified as the UK variant of coronavirus, was formed. At that time, The Quint had debunked the claim.
According to the press release by the UK government, the new variant of coronavirus has been existing since September 2020 and then circulated at very low levels in the population until mid-November. Hence, the first case of the new variant came long before the coronavirus vaccine was approved in the UK, on December 2, 2020.
The Quint contacted Professor Sandhya Koushika in the Department of Biological Sciences at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), who said, "The reason that we have the variants is that a very large number of people are infected, and the virus itself can change... The vaccine by itself is not going to cause the variants, the variants arising is a natural process that comes from the virus."
Hence, the claim that the coronavirus vaccine is creating new variants is fake.
Claim 2: Vaccine may lead to antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)
Luc, in the interview, also raised concerns about antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), i.e., the presence of specific antibodies which are used to create vaccines that can be beneficial to the virus.
According to National Centre for Biotechnology Information, ADE is a phenomenon in which virus-specific antibodies enhance the entry of the virus, and in some cases, causes the replication of the virus, and in case of some infection, it has become a great concern to disease control by vaccination.
Clinical scientist Gagandeep Kang, in a series of tweets, debunked the theory of Luc about the ADE in coronavirus vaccine and called it a theory brought by 'pseudo-scientific messy incorrect immunology'. Kang tweeted, "Antibody-dependent enhancement was a potential problem identified with COVID-19 vaccine development. From Barney Graham in Science. 2020 May 29;368(6494):945-946. doi: 10.1126/science.abb8923. Essentially, instead of blocking virus from entering cells, non-neutralizing antibodies bind & increase ability to infect immune cells it usually can't get into, resulting in more virus replication, immune cell activation & secretion of cytokines that increase inflammation. However, all vaccines are being evaluated to see that they make high amounts of neutralizing antibodies. And they are."
The website MedPage Today also reported that no case of ADE has been reported in the coronavirus vaccine. The report quoted Derek Lowe, a PhD and a matter expert, who said, "from the early stages of COVID-19 vaccine development, scientists sought to target a SARS-CoV-2 protein that was least likely to cause ADE. For example, when they found out that targeting the nucleoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 might cause ADE, they quickly abandoned that approach." The report also quoted Brian Lichty, who said that if ADE was an issue with coronavirus vaccines, then they would have spotted it by now."
The Wire Science also did a fact-check on Luc's ADE concern and concluded that all approved vaccines have been evaluated to ensure that they make high levels of neutralising antibodies. Further, no ADE has been documented from cases of reinfection or breakthrough infections. In fact, these infections are almost always milder than previous infections.
Who is Luc Montagnier?
Luc Montagnier is a French virologist who is a recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus, along with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Harald Zur Hausen. Since then, he has been infamous for his many controversial statements.
Earlier in 2020, Luc said that COVID-19 was artificially created in a lab by scientists working on an AIDS vaccine. Back then, Snopes had done a fact-check on this and called the theory 'entirely fictional'.
A Fench media house, The Connexion, reported that a molecular biologist at the national research centre Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Alexis Verger, on April 17, 2020, had tweeted about Luc as a professor is known for being anti-vaccinations, pro-homoeopathy, and believes that "water has memory".
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