No, the Covid-19 Vaccine DOES NOT Accumulate in the Ovaries
And what to do about the next vaccine lie. And the next...
No sooner had I published my last post on Covid-19 vaccine disinformation explaining how the vaccine DOES NOT have an 82% risk of miscarriage, when I was asked to defend the accumulation of the vaccine in the ovaries!
My friends, it is truly whack-a-mole. And as you will shortly see it is very clear the people “just asking questions” are either unable to interpret basic scientific data or they are willfully spreading lies. There really isn’t any other credible conclusion. Those people “just asking questions” about the study that detailed the miscarriage rate post vaccination could have had those same questions answered by reading the study. And here, you will soon see they can have the question about whether the people in my profession should be concerned about the ovaries or or not answered in one simple table in the very study about which they are howling.
What’s the “Pharmacokinetic study” in Question?
If mRNA were simply injected, it would be broken down by the body and rendered useless. Even if some were to escape the immune system, mRNA can’t get into cells, where it needs to be to be effective as a vaccine, without help. Enter the lipid nanoparticle, a spectacular feat of bioengineering that takes lipids and formulates them in such a way that they can carry the mRNA as a payload, protecting it from the immune system, and then deliver that payload into the cells. In addition, the lipid nanoparticle triggers inflammation at the vaccine site, basically it brings the immune system to the vaccine in the muscle where it was injected.
As the lipid is the container, it makes sense to study where it goes, because that is likely where the actual vaccine will go. But even more importantly, these are novel compounds and it is important to make sure that they are safe and they don’t accumulate in tissues.
In this study the lipid nanoparticles with mRNA were labelled with a radioactive substance so the distribution in various tissues could be tracked after injection, by measuring the radioactivity in different tissues. The doses given to the rats was significantly higher by body weight than we use to vaccinate humans.
This study isn’t “secret.” Dr. Gorski, from the blog Science Based Medicine, points out that it has been available online for some time. You can find it yourself here. In addition, this study is referenced in a report from the European Medicines Agency from Feb. 2021 and the people preparing the report had access to this data back in the Fall of 2020. You can find that report here. There is nothing to back up the claim this study came from a freedom of information request (FOI).
And no, the lipid nanoparticles did not accumulate to the greatest degree in the ovaries, not by a long shot. This is the table from the study that has been shared as the smoking gun. It really makes you wonder if any of these conspiracy theorists can actually read.
What Did the Study in Question Show?
At one hour the ovaries had 0.009% of the dose and reached a maximum of 0.095% at 48 hours. So the ovaries received at most < 0.1% of the dose. Compare the dose in the ovaries with that at the injection site (where the injection was actually given), which had 52.6% of the accumulated dose at one hour at 24.6% at 48 hours! This is a good thing because this is where the vaccine is supposed to go. Do the armchair Covid experts not know that 52.6% is greater than 0.009% and 24.6% is greater than 0.095%? The liver also gets a big whack, 2.87% at one hour and 16.2% at 48 hours. The spleen and the small intestine also get more than the ovaries. Interestingly, there is more accumulation of the lipids in the endometrium (lining of the uterus) at 1 hour than the ovaries. The lining of the uterus is very sensitive to mRNA (as detailed in this previous post on the vaccine and menstrual irregularities), so this does support a potential mechanism by which irregular bleeding might happen soon after vaccination.
If you go by tissue concentration, the ovary is still behind the injection site, the liver, as well as the spleen.
None of this sounds like “highest accumulation” to me.
Why do lipid nanoparticles end up in in the ovaries at all? Well, lipid particles can theoretically make it to any tissue and the ovary is no exception. There is clearly no evidence it is accumulating there preferentially.
Just like the disinformation about the trumped up miscarriage rate in the New England Journal of Medicine article, there is no smoking gun here. But the anti vaccine agents of chaos are counting on people just reading headlines and being afraid or getting waylaid by the echo chamber of disinformation reinforcement in the comments section. The few people who do call them out are ignored, blocked, or treated to a round of what-aboutism as I just described above.
So no, the lipid nanoparticles and mRNA (LPN-mRNA) are not accumulating to the highest degree in the ovaries.
But there will be more what-aboutism and false claims because when you aren’t bound by the truth the sky is truly the limit. With that in mind, here are some tips for navigating vaccine information on social media in this age of disinformation.
Does it pass the common sense test?
The claim of an 82% miscarriage rate is a great (or terrible, depending on how you look at it) example. That is an egregiously high rate if true. Like an extinction level event of miscarriages. That would be all over the news. This isn’t something that could be hidden from the general population. If it sounds wild, it probably is wildly inaccurate.
Does the post use the word “secret”?
This is a dog whistle for conspiracy theorists. Also, there are many professional journalists covering the vaccine and Covid-19 in general and this is literally their job and they have the skills and resources to track down leads and pull on threads. Ian, the guy who owns a gym, or Karen, who writes about sacred health journeys, are not going to have the inside scoop over the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Atlantic, etc. But then again, this is part of their schtick. Ian and Karen have the “secret” that the mysterious “they” are keeping from you.
Have reliable medical sources discussed this?
There are lots of good sources of medical information who are rapidly churning out content, never mind all the journalists. This can be hard as some of the disinformation devotees are doctors and nurses. For example Dr. Christiane Northrup or “Nurse Erin” are definitely agents of disinformation and anyone who uses them as a source should be ignored. Come up with a list of 2 or 3 reliable sources, such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Vox (all places I go to for information) and a few doctors whose sites you trust (maybe even me!) and cross check. Dr. Shannon Clark, a high risk OB/GYN who goes as @BabiesAfter35 on Instagram has tons of good content in her Instagram stories on pregnancy and Covid-19 and Dr. Lora Shahine (@DrLoraShahine on Instagram) is a reproductive endocrinologist (expert in infertility and miscarriage) who also has great posts on Covid-19. Tara Haelle is a science journalist who writes excellent pieces and is well worth a follow on Twitter and she usually has her pulse on the anti vaccine beat. There are lots more. Maybe I will put up a Damn Good Information Dozen at some point. Like a Spotify list, but for good sources of health information.
Consider checking vaccine posts you read on social media over at Science Based Medicine.
The team there does a great job of debunking the latest lies and the people behind them. Dr. Gorski is familiar with ALL the anti vaccine tropes.
Does the person writing about vaccines spread other bad information?
For example, do they recommend MTHFR testing, supplements for “immune boosting,” or do they promote homeopathy? That means they are already spreading disinformation and so you probably don’t need to check any further. Block and move on.
Does the Social Media Account or Blog Reference the Disinformation Dozen?
Did you know that 12 people are responsible for the bulk of the lies about the Covid-19 vaccine that you find online? You can read all about these truly awful people here and the work that exposed them for who they are. Any post that references these people should be ignored and if the influencer you like is sharing content from these people then consider them a disinfluencer and block. Here are the 12 people who are the super spreaders of Covid-19 vaccine lies:
Joseph Mercola, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Ty and Charlene Bollinger, Sherri Tenpenny, Rizza Islam, Rashid Buttar, Erin Elizabeth, Sayer Ji, Kelly Brogan, Christiane Northrup, Ben Tapper, and Kevin Jenkins.
Don’t read the comments on any post that speaks negatively about the Covid-19 vaccine until you have checked it with steps one through 5.
The comment section is almost always a hot mess that only serves to reinforce the original lie. This is what we mean by an information silo, the lie just keep reverberating in the comments section like a bullet in an action movie that ricochets in an enclosed room (you know, where one of the action heroes is told not to shoot because they are in a sealed chamber and yet they go ahead and do it anyway?).
Block and Report People Spreading Disinformation
You are unlikely to change the mind of true believers by engaging. The better thing is to limit their contagion. Engaging in the comments only improves the performance of the post and so more people may see it.
Lastly, be extra vigilant about information about the vaccine and fertility. This is a common anti-vaccine trope and has a huge overlap with purity culture. Medical professionals who deal with pregnancy have no reason to lie to you. There is no sweet Covid-19 vaccine cash. However, many of those spreading Covid-19 disinformation have supplements to sell and so they may benefit financially from increased traffic due to incendiary posting about the vaccine. They also benefit from conspiracy theories, as people who believe in conspiracy theories are more likely to use supplements.
We have a long road ahead of us and we all need to do what we can to stop both pandemics, the virus and the associated disinformation.