On April 19, 2023, the news program of Russia’s “Channel Five” voiced a claim that the anti-coronavirus vaccines available in the United States of America are hazardous to health. According to the journalist of Channel Five, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the use of the two most popular American vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer, and has not yet specified the specific reasons for this decision.
On April 20, 2023, news about the alleged Pfizer and Moderna ban was published by the Georgian-language anonymous religious-themed Facebook account along with a screenshot of an FDA tweet regarding the change in emergency use authorization for Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines. According to the attached description, according to the decision of the US Food and Drug Administration, the use of Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines is no longer allowed in the US.
The claim that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is false. The FDA has amended its emergency use authorization for the two vaccines and suspended emergency use of the monovalent versions in order to promote the distribution of the bivalent versions of the two vaccines. FDA clarifies that licenses for monovalent vaccines have not been revoked. Bivalent vaccines, unlike monovalent ones, are specific for new strains of coronavirus.
The tweet, a screenshot of which was disseminated on Facebook, was published by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 18, 2023. According to the tweet, the FDA has amended the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Pfizer and Moderna’s bivalent coronavirus mRNA vaccines to simplify the vaccination schedule for most individuals.
In the comments section of the tweet, the FDA further explained that the changes meant the authorization of new bivalent vaccines for further use. Particular reaction was caused by the comment on the FDA’s tweet, in which we read that Moderna and Pfizer’s monovalent coronavirus vaccines are no longer authorized for use in the United States.
The said comment already comes with a Twitter warning that it was disseminated without context. Elon Musk, the founder of the company SpaceX, responded to the comment and was interested in the reason for suspending the authorization of monovalent vaccines. In response, the FDA clarified that monovalent vaccines are still licensed for use in the United States and that the change affected their emergency use (EUA) only.
The main difference between monovalent and bivalent coronavirus vaccines is that monovalent vaccines contain a small portion of the mRNA component of the virus, which is based on the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. Over time, the virus changed, and first the Omicron strain (variant), and then the BA.4 and BA.5 substrains appeared. To deal with them more effectively, bivalent vaccines have been developed, which contain both the mRNA part of the original virus and a new part specific for the BA.4 and BA.5 substrains.
About the Source
The anonymous Facebook account “Christians of the Last Advent” [Bolo Zhamis Kristianebi] frequently spreads conspiracy theories and anti-vaxx content, including disinformation. The false information spread by the user has been fact-checked by “Myth Detector” many times in the past.
The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.