On the Internet and social networks, fake news takes on a new dimension. This time misinformation about Covid-19 has given rise to a movement called “pure blood”. An initiative fueled by conspiracy theories that receives transfusions from people vaccinated against Covid “contaminates” the blood.
The consequences are huge: A New Zealand couple resisted a surgical operation to save their baby’s life, fearing that he would receive blood from a vaccinated donor. A court temporarily stripped them of custody of the child to allow care, but the case has become iconic for anti-vax activists. In private groups on social networks, the defenders of this “pure blood” also calls for violence against caregivers who vaccinate and falsely claims that those who are immunized are dying in droves.
$50 entry blood banks
However, these theories are not based on “no scientific evidence, recalls Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. If you donate blood from a vaccinated person to someone who is not, the person receiving the transfusion will not be vaccinated. But that does not stop internet users from advocating for the creation of blood banks dedicated to people who have not received an injection, a request also received by doctors in North America.
An organization based in Zurich (Switzerland), Safe Blood Donation, even seeks to connect donors and non-vaccinated recipients. The association was founded by a Swiss naturopath, George Della Pietra, and promises to provide blood for its customers. It says it is present in Western Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.
A juicy business because members of Safe Blood Donation must pay a 50-euro entry fee, then a 20-euro annual subscription, according to its website. “The ‘safe blood’ movement is 100% based on vaccine misinformationjudge epidemiologist Katrine Wallace. Unfortunately, it is profitable to appeal to people’s fears.”
But the phenomenon goes back even further. The search for an alleged “purity” is not limited to blood. On social networks, publications aim to find breast milk from non-vaccinated people, or even sperm. that “next bitcoin”, predict conspirators. It is difficult to estimate the number of people looking for blood “unvaccinated”but experts say that would be a challenge anyway in countries with high vaccination rates.
In the United States, where more than 80% of the population has received at least one dose, health officials explain that they do not ask blood donors to have their vaccination status tested. Hospitals cannot otherwise share this information with patients.