On May 28, 2021, Facebook account Rau Al published a Russian video about the coronavirus vaccine ingredients. The video shows the ingredients of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and indicates that the vaccine contains a lipid substance SM-102 as one of the ingredients. Then, the author of the video looks up SM-102 in Google search engine and opens the respective article of Russian Wikipedia. “Hazard Identification” section in the article notes that substance SM-102 in the coronavirus vaccines is a health hazard and negatively affects the nervous system, damages reproductive capabilities and fetuses, causes cancerous diseases, and so on. Per the description of the video, it represents a “poison” of vaccines.
As of June 1, 2021, 233 Facebook users shared the video published by Rau Al.
Claim given in the disseminated video about Moderna COVID-19 vaccine containing substances hazardous to health is false. Even though Moderna COVID-19 vaccine does contain a small amount of SM-102, but the substance is safe and doesn’t have a negative effect on human health. In reality, the health hazard listed in the video is typical for SM-102 and poisonous Chloroform mixture, which is not used for medical purposes, and not for SM-102 in itself. A disinformative section on hazardous features of SM-102 has since been removed from the Russian article on Wikipedia.
On May 26, a Russian user on Tiktok alina_tallinn2.0 was the first to publish the video disseminated by Rau Al. Simultaneously, analogous disinformation on SM-102 and Moderna vaccine was disseminated by English-speaking users on Facebook and Instagram.
Instead of Wikipedia article, videos disseminated by English-speaking accounts show the manufacturer of the chemical compounds Cayman Chemical’s webpage, where the information section on SM-102 has the document “Safety Data Sheet” attached. On the first page of the document, “SM-102 in Chloroform” and not SM-102 in itself is indicated under the product name and the following description of the biological hazard is typical for precisely SM102 and Chloroform mixture. Moreover, the document explains that SM-102 and Chloroform mixture is practically used only in research and cannot be used for human or veterinary diagnostic/therapeutic purposes
Moreover, according to the information about the product ingredients provided on the third page of the Cayman Chemical document, hazardous and toxic component in the mixture composition is chloroform, 90% of the mixture, and not SM-102.
In alina_tallinn2.0’s video, the section on health hazards of the substance in the Russian “SM-102” Wikipedia article is identical to the second page of the above-mentioned document from Cayman Chemical, however, as it’s seen in the video, Wikipedia article doesn’t specify that listed hazards are associated with SM-102-Chloroform mixture and not SM-102. At the moment, the aforesaid mistake is corrected in the Russian article of Wikipedia and we no longer encounter the “hazards” section that was misattributed to the SM-102. The article explains that SM-102 and Chloroform mixture isn’t used in vaccine production.
According to the “Discussion Page” on the Russian article of Wikipedia, users notified the webpage administration about the disinformation in the article on May 27, 2021. Page editor Ernest Bondarenko added a small explanation about the false information to the “discussion page” on May 28. Later, “Rjynfrnwtynh”, the anonymous author of the misleading section in the article, commented on the changes and said that information on the “hazardous” effects of the SM-102 was translated from the Cayman Chemical webpage, but didn’t pay attention to the fact that primary source was about SM-102-Chloroform mixture and not SM-102 in itself.
It’s noteworthy that the digital encyclopedia “Wikipedia” is an open source, where anyone can create and edit articles on any topic. That’s why articles on Wikipedia aren’t an authoritative and absolutely reliable source
What is SM-102 and why is it used in vaccines?
SM-102 is a lipid (i.e, water-fearing) molecule and presents an inactive ingredient of the Moderna vaccine. In the vaccine, it functions as a carrier that delivers coronavirus spike protein’s RNA molecule to cells and protests unstable RNA molecule upon injection. In the vaccine, Moderna uses the SM-102 of their own production. As for the toxic substance Chloroform, it’s not included in the list of vaccine ingredients, whereas SM-102 in itself is a harmless substance.
The efficacy and safety of the Moderna RNA vaccine were tested on 30 351 volunteers during the phase 3 clinical trials. According to the phase 3 data, two doses of vaccine have 94.5% efficacy and don’t cause serious adverse events and side effects. On December 17, 2020, FDA issued Emergency Authorization Use of Moderna vaccine, whereas the World Health Organization made the same decision on April 30, 2021.
Read more on RNA vaccines in the articles of “Myth Detector”:
- Side effects from Pfizer and Moderna are rare, while RNA technology is safe
- RNA or DNA-Based Vaccine?
- Coronavirus vaccines – myths and reality
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