Chemical spill prompts unsubstantiated claims about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines

Reports that Pfizer exceeded methylene chloride discharge limits into a Michigan drain prompted city officials to issue a no-contact advisory for the Kalamazoo River. In response to these reports, some social media users shared unsubstantiated claims that the chemical spill is related to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines. These users are referring to the Kalamazoo River as “mRNA water.”

Recommendation: These types of claims disparage mRNA vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines more generally. Debunking messaging may emphasize that the chemical in the Kalamazoo River is methylene chloride, which is not an ingredient in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines. There is strong evidence to dispute the claim that Pfizer is conducting unauthorized experiments involving COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccines. All COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously studied in millions of people worldwide and have been determined to be safe. The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older.