Fact Check: Did Mayo Clinic Pathologist Say Spike Protein in Covid-19 Vaccine is Killing People?

A social media post claimed that Spike protein in the COVID vaccine is a 'toxin'.

A now-deleted June 3 Instagram post claimed that the spike protein in the COVID vaccine is a "toxin." The post cited a 'doctor' as evidence. "Doctor on COVID Vax: 'We Screwed-Up. We didn't realize the Spike Protein is a TOXIN," the post said. "Does this mean everyone vaccinated is manufacturing their own Spike Protein Toxins in their own bodies?"

According to CrowdTangle, a social media insights tool, lots of similar posts circulated on Facebook and Instagram claiming that the Spike protein is a toxin. The spike protein is located on the surface of the coronavirus. The virus uses it to enter human cells.

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Fact check: A Canadian immunologist made the falsified claims

The said Instagram post stemmed from a May 31 article from the Hal Turner Radio Show. According to Dr. Byram Bridle, who was quoted in the article, the scientists behind the COVID vaccine "made a mistake." "They thought the spike protein was a great target antigen, only to discover it is a toxin, that can travel to many organs of the body, causing severe damage." Dr. Byram Bridle is a viral immunologist and an associate professor in the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph.

"By vaccinating people, we are inadvertently inoculating them with a toxin. In some people, this gets into circulation, and when that happens in some people it can cause damage, especially in the cardiovascular system," Dr. Bridle said. He insisted that his claims were "completely backed up by peer-reviewed, scientific publications."

'There is no scientific data indicating that the spike protein is toxic'

However, an author of the study Dr. Bridle cited to back his claims said that he "misinterpreted" its results. "My reading of the article you sent is Bridle is over-interpreting our results," David Walt, a professor at Harvard Medical School and the study's co-author, told USA TODAY in an email. Several of Dr. Bridle's colleagues also refuted his claims, according to the outlet.

"Bridle is suggesting that a study that noted minuscule quantities of spike protein in blood after the first dose represent a health hazard," David Fisman, an epidemiology professor at the University of Toronto, told the outlet in an email. "That is poppycock: biologically implausible and not data-based." "There is no scientific data to indicate that the spike protein is toxic or that it lingers at any toxic level in the body after vaccination," Abby Capobianco, press officer for the FDA, told USA TODAY in an email.

All three coronavirus vaccines approved for emergency use in the US teach the body to make antibodies against the spike proteins. The body then starts producing antibodies that destroy all the spike proteins, eliciting immunity for future coronavirus infections.