Fact check: Indiana doctor spreads false information about COVID-19 vaccines

The claim: COVID-19 vaccines don’t slow the virus’ spread

© Marta Lavandier, AP Andres Veloso, 12, gets the first dose of the Pzifer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday in Miami. Florida is reporting a surge of cases caused by the highly contagious delta variant.

As the delta variant floods hospitals nationwide with COVID-19 patients, a video of an Indiana school board meeting has reached millions of people on social media – and it’s filled with vaccine misinformation.

The video shows the Mount Vernon Community Schools Aug. 6 board meeting. During the public comment portion, Dr. Dan Stock, a functional medicine physician in Hamilton County, Indiana, tells the board “everything being recommended by the (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the state board of health is actually contrary to all the rules of science.”

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Stock, whose website has promoted alternative treatments for conditions like cancer and autism, takes particular aim at the COVID-19 vaccines during his seven-minute diatribe.

“No vaccine prevents you from getting (an) infection,” he said. “So you cannot stop spread, you cannot make these numbers that you’ve planned on get better by doing any of the things you’re doing.”

That claim is wrong.

While no vaccine offers bulletproof protection, the coronavirus vaccines are effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19. Breakthrough infections are possible, but they make up a small portion of total coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Public health data shows the bulk of COVID-19 cases are among unvaccinated individuals.

Fact check: 6 of the most persistent misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccines

Social media platforms have removed versions of the video for violating rules against coronavirus misinformation. But as of Aug. 17, USA TODAY still found clips circulating online, and Stock’s comments have also been promoted in blog posts.

“He really sounded official, but the fact was most of what he said was just patently false,” Dr. Gabriel Bosslet, an associate professor of clinical medicine at Indiana University’s School of Medicine, told CNN on Aug. 12

USA TODAY reached out to Stock and social media users who shared his claims for comment.

COVID-19 vaccines help prevent virus’ spread

More than 50% of Americans have received the coronavirus vaccines in full. They aren’t 100% effective at preventing infection, but data from clinical trials and the vaccine rollout shows they help slow the virus’ transmission.

All three coronavirus vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States were found to be safe and effective in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of participants.

The shots from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were found to be 95% and 94% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 cases, respectively. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, meanwhile, was found to be about 72% effective in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 cases – a number that was lower in part because its trial was conducted while COVID-19 cases were higher in the U.S.

None of the coronavirus vaccines – or any vaccines, for that matter – are 100% effective. Breakthrough infections are possible.

Fact check: CDC didn’t say COVID-19 vaccinated are ‘superspreaders’, vaccines failing

Stock raised this point when he questioned why vaccines that are “supposedly so effective” could allow a breakout during summer “when respiratory viral syndromes don’t do that.”

But that statement ignores the fact that, among common infectious diseases, only measles is more contagious than the delta variant. Stock also asserted the vaccines themselves are the reason for the recent influx of COVID-19 cases and deaths (they’re not) and that the findings of a CDC study suggest vaccines don’t work.

That study found nearly three-quarters of people who tested positive for COVID-19 after Fourth of July celebrations in Provincetown, Massachusetts, had been fully vaccinated. The study doesn’t support Stock’s claims, though, because the cluster occurred in the county with the state’s highest vaccination rate, in an environment that was particularly conducive to the virus’ spread. Most of the infections were mild.

“Bottom line? P-town outbreak would’ve been a nightmare if no one was vaccinated,” Dr. Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, wrote in a July 30 tweet.

Breakthrough infections aren’t evidence the vaccines are useless, as Stock claims. The CDC says the vaccines “reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.”

“No vaccine needs to stop infection for it to have massive public health benefits or stop transmission,” Katelyn Jetelina, an assistant professor who studies epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, wrote in an Aug. 10 Facebook post.

Fact check: COVID-19 vaccine protects both the person vaccinated and those around them

If the vaccines had no effect on the spread of the coronavirus, it stands to reason that vaccinated people would make up a significant portion of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.. But that’s not the case.

In mid-July, more than 97% of people who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 were unvaccinated, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. Nearly all deaths have been among unvaccinated Americans.

The same holds true for cases. A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis shows that, in every state that reports data on breakthrough infections, unvaccinated people make up more than 94% of COVID-19 cases.

That doesn’t mean the vaccines are a get-out-of-jail-free card, though.

“The exact rates of breakthrough cases are unknown at this time because cases may be asymptomatic and, until recently, the CDC didn’t recommend that vaccinated people be tested following exposure,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said in an Aug. 2 post from the university. “For this reason, updated guidance states that vaccinated people should resume wearing a mask in indoor public areas, especially where there is high transmission of COVID-19.”

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that the coronavirus vaccines don’t slow the virus’ spread. The vaccines aren’t 100% protective against infection, but data from clinical trials and the vaccine rollout shows they help prevent the spread of the coronavirus by reducing disease. The best available evidence shows that unvaccinated people make up the majority of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Indianapolis Star, Aug. 11, An Indiana doctor’s COVID comments went viral. They were also full of misinformation.
  • Media Matters for America, Aug. 10, A new Plandemic-like misinformation video has earned tens of millions of Facebook engagements via streaming platforms
  • USA TODAY, Aug. 4, The delta variant is ‘ripping through the unvaccinated’ and crowding hospitals in Florida, Texas
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accessed Aug. 12, COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States
  • First Draft, Aug. 11, A video of Indiana doctor Dan Stock went viral. It’s loaded with Covid-19 misinformation
  • PolitiFact, Aug. 11, No evidence that COVID-19 vaccines causing the summer surge in COVID-19 cases
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration, accessed Aug. 12, COVID-19 Vaccines
  • USA TODAY, March 27, Comparing the COVID-19 vaccines
  • USA TODAY, July 20, Those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can be infected, but serious illness is rare: ‘Nothing in this world is 100%’
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, July 30, Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 Infections, Including COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections, Associated with Large Public Gatherings — Barnstable County, Massachusetts, July 2021
  • Dr. Ashish K. Jha, July 30, Twitter
  • Kaiser Family Foundation, accessed Aug. 12, COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Cases: Data from the States
  • USA TODAY, July 31, Some COVID hot spots see increase in vaccinations; Massachusetts outbreak shows ‘vaccines are working’: Live COVID-19 updates
  • The White House, July 16, Press Briefing by White House COVID-⁠19 Response Team and Public Health Officials
  • Vox, Aug. 3, Breakthrough cases aren’t the cause of the US Covid-19 surge
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Aug. 2, Delta Variant: New Data on COVID-19 Transmission by Vaccinated Individuals
  • USA TODAY, May 28, Fact check: Coronavirus variants come from mutations, not vaccines
  • PureHealth, accessed Aug. 12, About
  • The Gateway Pundit, Aug. 9, EPIC VIDEO: Dr. Dan Stock: “Everything Being Recommended by the CDC and State Board of Health Is Actually Contrary to All the Rules of Science” …UPDATE: YouTube Removes Video
  • Associated Press, June 29, Nearly all COVID deaths in US are now among unvaccinated
  • WFAA, Aug. 11, Fact-checking Dr. Stock’s COVID-19 claims at Indiana school board meeting
  • The White House, July 16, Press Briefing by White House COVID-⁠19 Response Team and Public Health Officials
  • Katelyn Jetelina, Aug. 10, Facebook
  • CNN Transcripts, Aug. 12, DON LEMON TONIGHT
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Aug. 16, Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

Twitter: Employees must be fully vaccinated before returning to the office. Ascension: The private healthcare provider headquartered in St. Louis will require all employees to be vaccinated by November. Facebook: The company announced it would be requiring all workers in the U.S. to be fully vaccinated. United Airlines: New employees will have to be fully vaccinated. DoorDash: The food delivery service announced in a blog post that corporate workers would be required to be fully vaccinated if returning to offices. The Washington Post: New and current employees will be required to be vaccinated before returning to the office. Saks Fifth Avenue: The retailer will require that all employees be vaccinated. United Airlines:  All employees in the U.S. are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by late October. Lyft: Corporate employees must be fully vaccinated before returning to the office. Netflix: Employees must be fully vaccinated before returning to the office. Google: Employees must be fully vaccinated before returning to the office. Morgan Stanley: Employees will be required to be vaccinated before returning to office. Amtrak: New employees must show proof of vaccination before start of employment and current employees will be required to be fully vaccinated. Disneyland: The Walt Disney Company – parent company to Disney World and Disneyland –  requires all salaried and non-union hourly U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated. Employees working on-site will have 60 days to get vaccinated, and new hires will need to be fully vaccinated before beginning work.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Indiana doctor spreads false information about COVID-19 vaccines

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Amy Robach on Being 'Forever Bonded' with Robin Roberts Who Urged Her to Have Life-Saving Mammogram

Amy Robach is reflecting on her special relationship with Robin Roberts, eight years after the Good Morning America co-anchor convinced her to have her first mammogram. The 60-year-old urged her ... Read more »

CDC data confirms J&J is the worst-performing COVID-19 vaccine in the US - but being unvaccinated is far more dangerous

© Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Johnson & Johnson’s one shot COVID-19 vaccine isn’t performing as well as two shot mRNA vaccines. Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images The ... Read more »

Skin Tags: Causes And Treatments

Take a good look at your birthday suit and you’ll probably find small, harmless growths known as skin tags. Though common and nothing to worry about, you should point them ... Read more »

Poland FA seeking punishments for England over racism accusations

The president of the Poland FA has revealed that he plans to ask FIFA to punish England for ‘unjustifiable’ claims of racist abuse when the two sides met in early ... Read more »

Another Study Finds Pfizer, Moderna Shots Effective Against COVID Variants

FRIDAY, Oct. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The Moderna and Pfizer COVID vaccines protect against a number of coronavirus variants, including highly contagious Delta, another study confirms. © Provided by ... Read more »

What led to Bill Clinton's hospitalization? Warning signs of the common infection

Experts say when treated in a timely manner, prognosis for urologic infections is excellent. Read more »

Who knew you could buy a portable thermal printer for just $35?

We may receive commission from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change. The PeriPage A6 printer is almost as adorable as the puppy ... Read more »

Here's How Zinc Can Benefit Your Skin—And 4 Products to Try

© Provided by Health TED + CHELSEA CAVANAUGH What is zinc? © TED + CHELSEA CAVANAUGH It’s the star in just about every mineral sunscreen, but zinc’s skin-boosting benefits make ... Read more »

This Parsnip Purée Is the Ultimate Healthy Mashed Potato Dupe

© Provided by Shape Caitlin Bensel Unpopular opinion: Mashed potatoes are overhyped. Oftentimes, the tubers aren’t given the TLC they need to shine (think: a thorough whipping, a few generous ... Read more »

Farming and cooking coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the fans are going to lose it

© Provided by GamesRadar Animal Crossing: New Horizon update 2.0 features Animal Crossing: New Horizons is getting farming and cooking as part of the huge update coming this November.  Originally ... Read more »

Charise Castro Smith trae su magia latina a "Encanto"

© AP ENCANTO-CHARISE CASTRO SMITH Como la primera mujer latina que codirige una película de Walt Disney Animation Studios, Charise Castro Smith admite que a veces se ha sentido aterrorizada. ... Read more »

A US Capitol Police Officer Was Charged With Obstructing The Jan. 6 Investigation

WASHINGTON — A 25-year veteran of the US Capitol Police was indicted this week on charges that he attempted to obstruct the investigation into the Jan. 6 riots by contacting ... Read more »

Covid breakthrough as dose of cheap blood-thinning medication reduces risk of death

The globally available drug heparin has been “confirmed” to lower the risk of death in moderately ill patients, according to a new study. Researchers at St Michael’s Hospital have tested ... Read more »

F.D.A. Issues Voluntary Guidelines to Reduce Salt Intake

© Floriana – Getty Images New voluntary guidelines from the Food and Drug administration aim to cut Americans’ daily sodium intake by 12% in the next two and a half ... Read more »

Johnson & Johnson talc powder spinoff files for bankruptcy

A bankruptcy move from Johnson & Johnson could stall any talcum powder settlements for the thousands of families that have sued the company for billions of dollars in damages in ... Read more »

The FDA could authorize the first COVID-19 pill in December - here's who may be eligible

© Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty Images Pills seen with the Merck logo in the background. Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty Images The FDA will meet to discuss Merck’s COVID-19 pill in late November, which means ... Read more »

Tia Mowry Slams the Post-Pregnancy Pressures of 'Snapback' Culture

© Provided by Shape Getty Images Tia Mowry isn’t here for the pressure on new moms to “bounce back” to their pre-baby bodies. In a series of photos recently shared ... Read more »

Bill Clinton is reportedly hospitalized for sepsis after suffering a UTI. Here's what that means.

© Alyssa Pointer-Pool/Getty Images Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks during the funeral service of the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) at Ebenezer Baptist Church on July 30, 2020 in ... Read more »

Surprised by census results, many in Puerto Rico reconsider views on race

“Puerto Ricans themselves are understanding their whiteness comes with an asterisk,” an expert said. “They know they’re not white by U.S. standards, but they’re not Black by Puerto Rico standards.” Read more »

FDA advisory group recommends 2nd J&J shot

The second dose would be offered at least 2 months after the first. Read more »

New CDC data shows the risk of dying from Covid-19 is 11 times higher for unvaccinated adults than for fully vaccinated adults

Throughout August, the risk of dying from Covid-19 was 11 times higher for unvaccinated adults than for fully vaccinated adults in the United States, according to new data published by ... Read more »

A Johnson & Johnson booster shot just got closer to reality, as the FDA's expert panel unanimously supports an extra dose

© Eduardo Sanz/Europa Press via Getty Images A vial of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. Eduardo Sanz/Europa Press via Getty Images After an afternoon of debate, an FDA panel voted ... Read more »

Opinion: For families like mine, the social services in Biden's budget proposal are a choice between life and death

In the fall of 2019, my husband and I had to decide whether we could afford for him to stay alive. © Courtesy Rachael Scarborough King Rachael Scarborough King, with ... Read more »

What Is Sepsis? The Serious Illness Former President Bill Clinton Has Been Hospitalized With

Former President Bill Clinton has been hospitalized for a urinary tract infection that lead to sepsis. “He is on the mend, in good spirits, and incredibly thankful,” a spokesperson wrote. ... Read more »

FIFA 22 RTTK (Road to the Knockouts) Team 1 revealed with Spurs and West Ham stars

The FIFA 22 RTTK (Road to the Knockouts) Team 1 has been revealed tonight, featuring Son Heung-Min and Issa Diop. The new FIFA 22 Road to the Knockouts (RTTK) promo ... Read more »

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot. Driving the news: ... Read more »

COVID: German infectious disease chief receives death threats

© Provided by dw.com Germany’s coronavirus restrictions, like elsewhere in the world, have caused widespread public protest Lothar Wieler, the head of Germany’s infectious disease control agency, the Robert Koch ... Read more »

This Revlon Hair-Dryer Brush Makes Blowing Out My Curly Hair Ridiculously Easy

© Courtesy These days everybody and their golden retriever has a Revlon hair-dryer brush—the cult-classic drugstore hair dryer that makes it possible to give yourself a convincing blowout at home ... Read more »

BBC Ambulance viewers struggle to watch show after heartbreaking update on 999 caller

BBC Ambulance viewers were left teary-eyed following a heartbreaking message at the end of the latest episode. The spine-tingling BBC show follows the brave North West Ambulance Service as they ... Read more »

Humans Have Brain Shortcut That Lets Us React to Bad Smells in the Blink of an Eye

© Dima Berlin/Getty A stock photo shows a woman smelling a piece of fruit. The human brain has a sort of shortcut for detecting bad smells, a new study suggests. ... Read more »

Can a Daith Piercing Cure Migraines?

© Provided by Shape Getty Images – Design: Alex Sandoval Jillian Bershtein, 44, was diagnosed with migraines when she was in her twenties. She knows one’s impending when she feels ... Read more »

Woman diagnosed with breast cancer at 26 urges others to 'listen to your body'

Kelsey Summers was getting dressed on a fall morning last year when she felt a lump in her breast. She was 26, an age when most women wouldn’t think about ... Read more »

Allergy Tests: What to Know

© (Getty Images) One young man sneezing in blooming nature on sunny spring day Results from some medical tests are easy to interpret. If your throat is swabbed for a ... Read more »

Mark Hoppus Shares New Surgery Photos After He's Declared Cancer-Free

© Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMedia Blink-182 star Mark Hoppus has shared photos of himself undergoing minor surgery, two weeks after publicly revealing that he’s now cancer-free. Blink-182 star Mark ... Read more »

Capitol Police officer charged with obstructing riot investigation

1 / 2Capitol Police officer charged with obstructing riot investigation A 25-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police force was charged Friday with trying to protect a man who was ... Read more »

U.S. Capitol Police officer charged with telling rioter to destroy evidence

FILE PHOTO: Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in Washington By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors on Friday accused a U.S. Capitol Police officer of urging a ... Read more »

College students struggle with mental health as pandemic drags on

College students struggle with mental health as pandemic drags on People handed flowers to strangers on campus this week, and wrote encouraging notes in chalk. Students played with baby goats ... Read more »

Varias explosiones en una mezquita chií en Afganistán causan al menos 41 muertos

© STRINGER (EFE) Limpieza de la mezquita chií de Kandahar (Afganistán), donde se han producido las explosiones este viernes. Varias explosiones han causado al menos 41 muertos y decenas de ... Read more »

New Guidelines for Adults 60 and Older Taking Aspirin for Heart Disease Prevention

© Grace Cary – Getty Images New suggestions for those over 60 taking aspirin to prevent heart disease were released by the United States Preventive Services Task Force in a ... Read more »

Media invisibility, misrepresentation 'can become toxic' for Latinos, TV creators say

"That toxicity will develop into misconceptions and inaccurate stereotype perceptions of us, and eventually that will affect policy,” Tanya Saracho, creator of the TV series “Vida,” said. Read more »