Fact Check: Was animal testing skipped for Covid vaccines?-thip



Quick Take

A snippet of the May 2021 hearing by the Texas State Senate has been shared several times on social media. The snippet shows Texas state senator Bob Hall asking paediatrician Angelina Farella about the Covid vaccines skipping animal trials because several animals died during the testing phase. Also, in response, Farella seemed to agree with it. THIP Media found the claim to have a missing context and Half True.

The Claim

After the May 2021 hearing by the Texas State Senate was made public, several social media users shared a snippet of the video in which Texas state senator Bob Hall asked paediatrician Angelina Farella about the Covid vaccines and skipping animal trials because a lot of animals died during the testing phase.

At the time stamp 44:24, the conversation between Bob Hall and Angelina Farella was:

‘Hall: And have you seen any other vaccine that was put out for the public that skipped the animal test?

Farella: Never before, especially for children.

Hall: And what I have read, they actually started the animal tests and, because the animals were dying, they stopped the tests.

Farella: Correct’.

THIP MEDIA found a Facebook post that shared a similar claim

Fact Check

Was animal testing skipped for Covid vaccines?

Not exactly. THIP Media found evidence of animal testing referenced in the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen Emergency Use Authorization decision memos and in the documents called Summary Basis of Regulatory Action for Comirnaty as well as Spikevax.

The published evidence is available online that shows through which Covid vaccines are authorized and approved for public use.

THIP MEDIA analyzed that the release of Covid vaccines under EUA might have fueled the misinformation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website states ‘Clinical trials are evaluating investigational COVID-19 vaccines in tens of thousands of study participants to generate the scientific data and other information needed by FDA to determine safety and effectiveness. These clinical trials are being conducted according to the rigorous standards set forth by the FDA’.

This means it is possible that a few Covid vaccine makers might have conducted animal as well as human testing simultaneously.

In context with prominent Covid vaccines in India named Covishield and Covaxin, we found references that show animal testing was done for both these vaccines.

However, THIP Media has also found a statement on the Covishield website which says ‘Preliminary animal studies do not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects with respect to pregnancy, embryofetal development, parturition or postnatal development; definitive animal studies have not been completed yet. The full relevance of animal studies to human risk with vaccines for COVID-19 remains to be established’.

But no evidence confirms that the animal testing for Covid vaccines was skipped because a lot of animals died.

THIP Media also found references in which the state senator was cited by the Texas media for spreading misinformation around Covid vaccines.

THIP MEDIA TAKE: No evidence confirms that the animal testing for Covid vaccines was skipped because a lot of animals died. But we need more evidence to confirm that definitive animal testing was completed for all Covid vaccines. Hence, the claim is Half True until proven otherwise.

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