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Madison Czopek
By Madison Czopek March 31, 2021

No, the COVID-19 vaccines are not weapons of mass destruction

If Your Time is short

• The claim that the vaccines are being used to kill a large portion of the world’s population is rooted in the widely-debunked "Great Reset" and "Agenda 21" conspiracy theories.

• There is no evidence that deaths have been caused by COVID-19 vaccines.

• PolitiFact has previously debunked Vernon Coleman’s conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccines.

In a nearly 22-minute long Facebook video, a man who identifies himself as Dr. Vernon Coleman has a lot to say about the COVID-19 vaccines.

The video post is titled, "Covid-19 Va@xines Are Weapons of Mass Destruction - and Could Wipe out the Human Race." (The misspelling of "vaccines" is intentional — it helps posters avoid Facebook’s moderation of anti-vaccine misinformation.)

"We all know that the evil elite — the Agenda 21 and Great Reset promoters — have all along intended to kill between 90 and 95% of the world’s population," Coleman says in the video. "Sadly I fear it’s already too late to save many of those who’ve had the vaccine. Millions are doomed, and I fear that many will die when they next come in contact with the coronavirus."

Coleman also goes on to reiterate that he believes the vaccines "could kill more people than COVID-19," and that it "now seems likely that the vaccines may be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions who haven’t been vaccinated." 

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

This is not the first time PolitiFact has debunked Coleman’s conspiracy theories about the coronavirus vaccines.

The largely self-published British writer has denied the existence of HIV/AIDS and in 2019 authored a book aimed at discrediting trust in vaccines. 

A qualified and practicing general practitioner in the 1970s, Coleman is no longer licensed to practice medicine. The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has also repeatedly taken issue with how Coleman’s work is advertised and promoted

The video’s claim about the COVID-19 vaccines is rooted in what have come to be referred to as the "Great Reset" and "Agenda 21" conspiracy theories. 

Essentially, the "Great Reset" theory is that a group of "global elites want to use the coronavirus as a tool to reorganize global societies and economies to their benefit at the expense of ordinary people, with the ultimate goal of a global totalitarian regime."

Revived during the COVID-19 pandemic, the "Agenda 21" conspiracy theory dates back to a UN document from the early 90s and similarly holds that "a secret plot to impose a totalitarian world government" is in motion.

There is no evidence to support these widely debunked theories, which have also been linked with the QAnon conspiracy theory.

There is also no definitive evidence that deaths have been caused by COVID-19 vaccines. Various fact-checking outlets have reported that there is no clear evidence the coronavirus vaccinations have killed or will kill anyonelet alone kill millions.

Even deaths that occur after someone has received a COVID-19 vaccine are not necessarily caused by the vaccine itself. Experts who work with the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, a national database that monitors vaccine safety by recording health issues that occur after vaccinations, say that isolated experiences — even deaths — do not establish causation. 

Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, told PolitiFact that reports of deaths following COVID-19 vaccinations "can never answer the question of whether a vaccine causes a particular outcome." Only a study with a control group can establish causation, he said. 

The COVID-19 vaccines approved in the U.S. have been proven to be safe and effective in tens of thousands of people who participated in clinical trials.

Our ruling

A video circulating on Facebook claims COVID-19 vaccines are "weapons of mass destruction" that "could wipe out the human race."  

The claim is linked to widely-debunked conspiracy theories about a group of so-called global elites’ "secret plot" to create a totalitarian world government and purge a large portion of the planet’s population. There is no evidence to support the claim that the COVID-19 vaccines are "weapons of mass destruction" that will cause widespread deaths. 

The video’s claim is inaccurate and ridiculous. We rate it Pants on Fire!

Our Sources

Facebook post, March. 28, 2021

Lead Stories, "Fact Check: COVID-19 Vaccines Are NOT 'Weapons of Mass Destruction,’" March 15, 2021

PolitiFact, "False vaccine claims persist on Facebook, despite a ban. Here’s why," March 30, 2021

Reuters, "Fact check: There is no scientific evidence that mRNA vaccines will reduce the population," March 2, 2021

Deutsche Welle, "Fact check: No links found between vaccination and deaths," March 15, 2021

Lead Stories, "Fact Check: It Is Statistically Inevitable Some People Will Get Sick And Die Of Unrelated Causes After Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine," Jan. 27, 2021 

USA Today, "Fact check: Misleading meme suggests deaths following COVID-19 vaccination are due to vaccine," Feb. 24, 2021

PolitiFact, "No, the new coronavirus vaccines are not more dangerous than COVID-19," Dec. 18, 2020

PolitiFact, "Bill Gates did not say a COVID-19 vaccine could kill nearly 1 million people," May 19, 2020

PolitiFact, "Doctors administering COVID-19 vaccines aren’t guilty of war crimes," Feb. 11, 2021

PolitiFact, "Deaths after vaccination don’t prove that COVID-19 vaccine is lethal," Feb. 16, 2021

USA Today, "Fact check: U.N. Agenda 21/2030 'New World Order' is not a real document," July 23, 2020

Google Books, "Anyone Who Tells You Vaccines Are Safe and Effective Is Lying," accessed March 30, 2021

Web archive, "Vernon Coleman AIDS & HIV," accessed March 30, 2021

BBC News, "The coronavirus pandemic 'Great Reset' theory and a false vaccine claim debunked," Nov. 22, 2020

Anti-Defamation League, "‘The Great Reset’ Conspiracy Flourishes Amid Continued Pandemic," Dec. 29, 2020

Independent, "What seems to be the problem Doctor Coleman?" Oct. 22, 2011

UK General Medical Council, "Vernon Edward COLEMAN," accessed March 30, 2021

ASA, "ASA Adjudication on Publishing House t/a Vernon Coleman," accessed March 30, 2021

BBC News, "Criticism for 'deadly doctor' ad," June 21, 2005

The Intercept, "The Great Reset Conspiracy Smoothie," Dec. 8, 2020

Southern Poverty Law Center, "Agenda 21: The UN, Sustainability and Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory," April 1, 2014

Buzzfeed News, "An Old Conspiracy Theory Known As "Agenda 21" Has Been Rebooted By The Coronavirus Pandemic," April 4, 2020

Washington Post, "With Trump gone, QAnon groups focus fury on attacking coronavirus vaccines," March 11, 2021

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No, the COVID-19 vaccines are not weapons of mass destruction

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