Writer Alex Berenson recently tweeted out the following about Covid-19 vaccines: “don’t think of it as a vaccine.”
OK, so how should one think about the Covid-19 vaccine then? As a turnip? As a cat wearing a bandana? Well, Berenson continued with, “Think of it as best-as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS,” as you can see in following screen capture from @justin_hart:
The screen capture also shows that Twitter flagged Berenson’s tweet as misleading. But that’s not all. If you are looking for Berenson’s original tweet so that you can reply with “I am thinking about the vaccine as an armchair,” or something like that, you won’t be able to do so. That’s because Berenson’s account has apparently been suspended:
Looks like Berenson’s “don’t think of it as a vaccine” tweet wasn’t Berenson’s first violation of Twitter rules as Ben Collins, Senior reporter for NBC News, tweeted:
There’s one itty bitty problem with thinking of the vaccine as a therapeutic. It really isn’t a therapeutic. Typically, you’ll get a therapeutic after you already have a disease or disorder. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines a therapeutic as “of or relating to the treatment of disease or disorders by remedial agents or methods.”
No real medical expert has been telling people to wait until they have Covid-19 before they get the Covid-19 vaccine. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website says, “people with Covid-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation; those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated.”
Rather than therapeutics, the Covid-19 vaccines are more like, let’s see, what word would describe something that stimulates your immune system so that it generates a response against the Covid-19 coronavirus? Hmmm, how about, let’s go out on a limb here, maybe, a vaccine?
The CDC defines a vaccine as, “a product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.” The Merriam Webster dictionary defines a vaccine as “a preparation that is administered (as by injection) to stimulate the body’s immune response against a specific infectious agent or disease.” This is basically what the currently available Covid-19 vaccines are designed to do: stimulate your immune system so that it is ready to respond to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in order to prevent Covid-19. The Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COvid-19 vaccines get your cells to produce some of the spike proteins that stud the surface of the SARS-CoV-2. These spike proteins in turn trigger your immune system to say, “hey, you don’t belong here. Let’s set up defenses in case something that looks like you comes around.”
Berenson hasn’t been the only one to claim that the Covid-19 vaccine is not a vaccine. Other social media accounts, many of which are anonymous, have been spouting things like:
How can experts “all agree” when there are experts all over the place calling the Covid-19 vaccine a vaccine? Isn’t that like saying, “experts agree that thing with toes is not a foot?”
Telling people that the vaccines are something that they are not would be misinformation. Misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccines isn’t the same as misinformation about your pants, unless, of course, it’s something like “this live wolverine is a pair of pants. Why don’t you try them on for size?” Vaccine misinformation is potentially dangerous because it can adversely affect people’s health. Imagine someone being mistakenly convinced that the vaccine is a therapeutic and then choosing not to get vaccinated as a result. What if that person then ends up catching the Covid-19 coronavirus and dying because he or she did not have the protection against Covid-19 that the vaccine could have offered?
On his Substack site, it looks like Berenson has confirmed that the “don’t think of it as a vaccine” tweet helped lead to his suspension: “This was the tweet that did it. Entirely accurate. I can’t wait to hear what a jury will make of this. Meantime, guess you’ll be getting more Substacks.”
So for now at least, you may not see exchanges such as following any time soon:
That’s because Berenson’s account seems to be gone from the Twitter platform. In other words, don’t think of it as an active account.