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COVID-19. Study Shows Vaccines Cause Long-Term Brain Damage? This study is not about vaccines

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Claims are circulating online about a study purporting to prove that “COVID-19 vaccines cause long-term brain damage.” However, the results of the study were misrepresented because it was not about vaccines.

On social media, you can read posts that report a “European study” purported to show that “COVID-19 vaccines cause long-term brain damage” or in a longer version: “Covid vaccine spike proteins persist in brain tissue, causing long-term damage brain” (original spelling of entries).

Posts with a false message about the alleged study of vaccinesTwitter

The authors of the entries – copying the content directly from a foreign language, which reveals syntax errors – suggest that “a new article published in bioRxiv reveals that long after a person is vaccinated against coronavirus (Covid-19) with a series of mRNA injections the peak proteins produced by the injections persist in their brain tissue.” They add that “Researchers from Germany and Denmark evaluated brain tissue samples in both mouse and post-mortem human models, looking for the presence and distribution of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. In particular, they looked at the skull-meninge-brain axis.”

So let’s explain why of all the quotes quoted, only the last one is true: the study itself was not about COVID-19 vaccines and thus could not prove that they cause long-term brain damage.

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Unreviewed study

The entries were accompanied by articles from two English-language portals, which in the past had repeatedly published false or manipulated information about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, including misrepresenting the results of scientific work. It was the directly translated sentences from these texts that later became the content of Polish entries. Both papers were published on May 9 and both reported the same findings from work entitled “Accumulation of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S in the skull-meninges-brain axis: potential implications for long-term neurological complications after COVID-19”.

However, in the English-language texts it is explicitly stated that the commented work is a preprint, i.e. a preliminary version of a scientific article made available before review and publication in a scientific journal. Thus, its findings cannot be the basis for formulating certain assessments or recommendations for the authorities. The website Biorxiv.org, where the work was published, is used precisely for sharing preprints of studies of which he himself writes: “Readers should be aware that articles on BioRxiv have not been finalized by the authors, may contain errors and contain information that has not yet been published. accepted or approved in any way by the scientific or medical community.”

Information that the source article has not yet been reviewed.biorxiv.org

The effects of the disease were studied, not vaccinations

The research was carried out by scientists from the German and Danish universities of Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Aarhus. They were discussed and commented on by specialized medical portals, e.g. news-medical.net, medpagetoday.com Whether webmd.com. Therefore, it is hard to undermine their substantive value, but in the context of information about the alleged study of the vaccine spike protein, it is crucial that the study was devoted to the spike protein, but not the one produced by vaccination, but coming from the virus during SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection. The aim of the researchers was to check whether it is the coronavirus spike proteins accumulating in the brain tissue that may be responsible for long-term symptoms persisting after COVID-19, sometimes referred to as so-called. long-covid.

The scientists write about this already in the abstract of their work: “Our findings indicate that the movement SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins from the borders of the nervous system to the brain parenchyma (…) may offer insights into the mechanisms underlying the immediate and long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 and create diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities” (own bold).

Spike protein after infection and vaccination: differences

The spike protein is one of the elements that cover the surface of the coronavirus. The spines form the “crown” from which the pathogen got its name and perform an important function: they are responsible for interacting with the receptor on the surface of the infected cell and allowing it to penetrate into it.

Professor Agnes Szuster-Ciesielska, a virologist from the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, emphasizes in an interview with Konkret24 that according to current medical knowledge, the spike protein may be associated with long-term symptoms of the so-called. long-covid. – Most of the long-term symptoms that occur after COVID-19 are due to the immune response to certain remnants of the virus. Since the most immunogenic element, i.e. recognized by the immune system, is the spike protein, its presence may cause some undesirable, long-term reactions, the researcher says. – Initially, scientists did not know what caused them, but later studies showed that the virus spreads throughout the body, and its protein is present in various organ structures, most often in the intestinal tissue, but also in the brain tissue, as confirmed by, among others, studies posthumous, he adds.

However, this is all about the protein found on the surface of the virus itself. However, as we have already explained in Konkret24 during a pandemic, the most popular COVID-19 vaccines based on mRNA technology, produced by Pfizer and Moderna, they do not contain spike protein. They contain only genetic information, a kind of “instruction” for our cells, how they can independently produce a modified spike protein, which is safer for patients. By exposing the body only to such a protein, we train our immune system to react faster and more effectively when it comes into contact with a virus. In this way, thanks to the vaccine, we become immune to the serious illness of COVID-19.

Which is why the spike protein from the surface of the virus is not the same as the one that is made in cells after taking the COVID-19 vaccine. As explained in mid-2022 on the account #Szczepimysię run by the Government Information Center, “the vaccine protein does not have the ability to change shape (it has been stabilized), thanks to which it has a greater potential for neutralization”.

Prof. Szuster-Ciesielska adds that the main difference also concerns the amount of spike protein that remains in the body after infection and vaccination. – Early studies showed that the spike protein produced by the vaccine did not spread beyond the injection site and local lymph nodes, but more recent studies show that it may also be present in other organs or in the blood to a very low extent. It should be emphasized, however, that these are very low protein concentrations, which are then eliminated by immune cells. The proteins from the vaccine are removed from the body after about three weeks – explains the virologist and emphasizes:

In no way can the situation after the administration of the vaccine be compared with the SARS-CoV-2 infection and the huge concentration of the spike protein present practically throughout our body. Such proteins can persist in different areas of the body for significantly longer, which can lead to long-term symptoms, the so-called long-covid.

And it is the effect of the virus spike proteins on the brain tissue, and thus on the so-called long-covid, researchers studied in a paper later incorrectly described as being about vaccines.

Main photo source: M-Photo/Shutterstock

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