A viral claim suggesting that vaccinated people are making the water supply toxic by shedding spike proteins through their urine, is false. The claims are based on an article which hasn't been peer-reviewed yet.
The latest conspiracy theory suggests that the Covid-19 vaccinated people are not only polluting the water supply but also poisoning tadpoles with neurotoxins, which results from the break-down of spike proteins.
How Did the Hoax Originate ?
Sharing the viral claim, a Facebook post read: "Spike protein break down chemicals in water are neurotoxic to tadpoles. Spike protein is a toxin - making urine of recently vaccinated people a toxic waste entering the water supply. The recently vaccinated are literally walking bioweapons."
In a tweet, a user, Jennifer Depew, wrote, "This is really bad news - spike protein break down chemicals in water are neurotoxic to tadpoles. Spike protein is a toxin - making urine of recently vaccinated people a toxic waste entering the water supply."
The user based its claim on an article, titled, An insight into neurotoxic and toxicity of spike fragments SARS-CoV-2 by exposure environment: A threat to aquatic health? The paper was published on bioRxiv. The site claims that it posts many Covid-19 related papers. "A reminder: they have not been formally peer-reviewed and should not guide health-related behavior or be reported in the press as conclusive," reads the disclaimer.
Social Media Users Fall Prey to Hoax Claim
Debunking the claim, Reuters stated that a study simulating the effects of SARs-CoV-2 on a water supply was misinterpreted and used in a meme.
Speaking to the outlet, one the report's author, Dr Guilherme Malafaia said that the claim is a misrepresentation of their paper. "I strongly disagree with the theory that tadpoles are contaminated/harmed by the urine of vaccinated people entering the water supply. In my opinion, this constitutes a misinterpretation of our [paper]," he wrote in a communique to the outlet.
Claiming that the group studied the "effects of different peptides derived from the Spike protein of SARs-Cov-2 on tadpoles and "synthesized small fragments of the Spike protein and added them to the waters where the tadpoles were," Malafaia said that these were not the spikes from vaccinated individuals.
"As far as my knowledge goes, there is no scientific evidence that vaccinated people release fragments of the Spike protein in their urine or feces," he said. "Our study, under no circumstances, makes any allusion to the fact that the Spike protein transforms urine of recently vaccinated people to toxic waste entering the water supply," he added.