Vaccine misinformation spawns ‘pure blood’ movement

Washington (AFP) – Vaccine skeptics blocking transfusions for life-saving surgeries, Facebook groups inciting violence against doctors and a global search for unvaccinated donors — Covid-19 misinformation has bred a so-called “pure blood” movement.

The movement spins anti-vaccine narratives focused on unfounded claims that receiving blood from people inoculated against the coronavirus “contaminates” the body.

Some have advocated for blood banks that draw from “pure” unvaccinated people, while medics in North America say they have fielded requests from people demanding transfusions from donors who have not received the jab.

In closed social media groups, vaccine skeptics — who brand themselves as “pure bloods” — promote violence against doctors administering coronavirus jabs alongside false claims of mass deaths of vaccinated people.

Taking the hysteria to the next level was the recent high-profile case of a New Zealand couple, who sought to block life-saving heart surgery of their infant on the grounds that any blood transfused could have come from a vaccinated donor.

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Their stance prompted a New Zealand court to take temporary custody of the baby to allow the procedure, but the case became a cause celebre among vaccine skeptics around the world.

“Cases like this spread like wildfire on both fringe and mainstream news sites and then social media, providing attention for anti-vaccine conspiracy theories,” Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, told AFP.

“There is absolutely no science behind these conspiracies. If you give blood from a vaccinated donor to an unvaccinated person, the person receiving the transfusion does not become vaccinated.”

‘Profitable falsehoods’

George Della Pietra, a Swiss naturopath founded Safe Blood Donation, a global mediation service that falsely labels mRNA coronavirus vaccines a “health threat” and seeks to connect unvaccinated blood donors with recipients … READ MORE.

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