Fact Check By: Craig Jones, Newswise
“It is clear that the new variants are created by antibody-mediated selection due to the vaccination.”
Claim Publisher and Date: Luc Montagnier, a French virologist and recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine on 2021-05-19
In an interview in the French documentary “Hold-Up,” Luc Montagnier, a French virologist and recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), claimed that Covid-19 vaccines are creating new variants in various parts of the world. He believes that the ongoing vaccinations across the world is an ”enormous mistake.” ”The history books will show that because it is the vaccination that is creating the variants.” Multiple French social media posts that have been shared by thousands have also claimed that COVID-19 vaccines are causing variants of the virus to emerge. We find these claims to be false. There is no evidence the vaccines are creating more variants. In fact, most human vaccines have not been undermined by microbial evolution.
Variants of the SARS-COV-2 virus are created at random, through the mass spread of the virus.4 Vaccination is part of the solution for suppressing transmissions. Nearly all of the approved COVID vaccines used in humans prevent asymptomatic infection and spread.1
When a virus is widely circulating in a population and causing many infections, the likelihood of the virus mutating increases. The more opportunities a virus has to spread, the more it replicates – and the more opportunities it has to undergo changes.
The variants that are currently most concern to scientists Include the UK’s B.1.1.7 variants, South Africa’s B.1.351 variants, Brazil’s P.1 variants and India’s B.1.617 variants. Some of these variants appear to be more infectious than the original Wuhan strain. Recent studies have found that antibody responses generated through natural infection to the original strain or via vaccination are less effective in neutralizing these variant strains.2
According to the CDC, a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and potentially less likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others.3 Stopping the spread of COVID means slowing mutations of the virus too.