Alleged rancher claims dangerous mRNA vaccines are being tested in livestock

In a recent viral video, a man claiming to be a rancher alleges that “live” mRNA vaccines are being tested on livestock, and 26 percent of those tested have had serious adverse reactions. The video claims that the meat from the animals contains “live vaccines.” A conspiracy theorist sharing the video repeats the myth that COVID-19 vaccines force the body to “mass produce the deadly HIV spike protein.”

Recommendation: False claims about the ingredients, safety, and testing of mRNA vaccines may promote distrust in public health authorities and messaging about COVID-19 as well as reluctance to comply with public health advice in the future. The number of likes, shares, and views on this video elevates the risk. Trending posts about mRNA provide an opportunity to educate the public about mRNA technology. Prebunking messaging may emphasize that mRNA exists naturally in every living thing, including the plants and animals that humans eat. Debunking messaging may emphasize that livestock vaccination to prevent disease outbreaks is one of the oldest forms of vaccination, dating back to the 1700s, and currently, no mRNA vaccines are approved for use in cattle. However, some pork producers use mRNA livestock vaccines that have been rigorously tested for safety. Like all livestock vaccines, mRNA vaccines are not transmitted through meat products. The mRNA in vaccines can’t survive inside the body for extended periods and breaks down long before the animals enter the food supply. The only way to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is through a health care provider or pharmacy. Additionally, mRNA vaccines don’t contain live viruses, and COVID-19 vaccines don’t contain any HIV component. Ensuring that community-based organizations and other partners have updated COVID-19 FAQs and one pagers with messaging that debunks “vaccine acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (VAIDS)” claims is also recommended.