Experts call on people to trust science as anti-vaxxers spread suspicions
Health and medical experts have hailed vaccines as being one of the major achievements in the fight against COVID-19, but the number of people refusing to get vaccinated has increased over the course of the pandemic despite the fact that they can prevent the spread of the highly infectious virus.
Some opposition to vaccines comes directly from a mistrust of science, claiming that data or messages may be sent to the human brain via mRNA vaccines, which work by providing the genetic code for the cells to produce viral proteins.
Abdurrahman Dilipak, a famous Islamist columnist, is one of those who consider vaccines as a potential risk to health, making unsubstantiated claims questioning scientists’ discoveries.
Turkey vaccinated more than 1 million people in the first week of its nationwide rollout of COVID-19 shots.
“If we evaluate vaccines in terms of the potential risk, the most dangerous are mRNA and Sinovac. Both of the vaccines can be life-threatening if an evaluation is made in general,” Dilipak said, adding the necessity to first make sure whether COVID-19 is a flu-type virus or a “biological agent” produced in a laboratory.
“mRNA is not a vaccine. It will be used as a vaccine for the first time. Whatever message or data you upload to the ‘M’ in the mRNA, the ‘messenger,’ it uploads it to the body,” Dilipak noted, asking who can guarantee the negative outcomes if the “message” is corrupted or other messages are uploaded.
However, members of the Science Board of the Health Ministry pointed out that these allegations are conspiracy theories, asking citizens to trust science as the anti-vaccine movement, built on different motivations and reasons, is increasingly widespread all over the world, including Turkey.
“If every desired message could be sent to the cell with mRNA, many types of cancer would have been cured and eradicated already,” said Mehmet Ceyhan, a member of the board, underlining that the anti-vaccination movement has no scientific basis.
“The mRNA vaccine can enter the cytoplasm of the cell, not the cell nucleus. Since it cannot enter the nucleus, it is out of the question for it to enter the human genome,” said Serap Şimşek Yavuz, another member of the board.
Yavuz also called on those who innocently believe in these theories to heed the voices of experts.
Debunking all sorts of conspiracy theories, Yeşim Yaşova, another member of the board, said that a vaccine produced to cause deliberate harm is not in the science literature.
Meanwhile, according to a study conducted by Ipsos earlier this year, nearly 45 percent of the society stated that they were considering vaccination, while 24 percent remained against it.