Study Linking COVID Vaccines to Cancer Retracted After Public Pressure

A study linking the COVID-19 vaccine spike protein to cancer cell development was retracted, according to the paper’s co-author.

The reasons for the retraction were unclear, with one scientist claiming the study lacked “social relevance.”

The study, first published in 2021 in the journal Viruses and written by Dr. Hui Jiang of Stockholm University and Dr. Ya-Fang Mei of Umeå University, described the implications of mRNA spike protein on cancer cells due to DNA damage.

Mei told independent journalist Rebekah Barnett that Stockholm University retracted the paper “without the authors’ consent, a clear violation of academic ethics.”

The co-author added that the retraction is “illegal.”

“I have reported to the editorial office that the retraction process is incorrect, and I strongly disagree with it,” she said.

Emails uncovered from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed that Mei was staunchly opposed to the study’s retraction. “[W]e have sufficient data to support our published results (…)” the email read. “Thus, I absolutely (sic) not accept this retraction.”

The study was allegedly retracted due to an “improper experimental design with the potential to significantly affect the integrity of the resultant experimental data,” according to a notice.

Mei told Barnett that the retraction was “unjustified” as the study contained appropriate information. “Therefore, the notice contains incorrect information,” she added.

Lead author Hui Jiang first requested that the paper be retracted, according to email records. The publishers for the scientific journal, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI), did not initially permit the retraction.

As the study was already gaining “publicity,” as MDPI Assistant Editor Gloria Gao wrote in an email, some speculated that there was pressure to remove the link between mRNA vaccines and cancer.

“For me it was not clear if the public pressure or scientific faults were the cause for the requests,” said Academic Editor Dr. Oliver Schildgen, who added, “[W]e have to be neutral as scientists.”

German scientist Dr. Götz Schuck, however, called for the paper to be retracted immediately, as it was a “source of misinformation.”

He added that the paper presented itself as a “scientific scandal” and was “hacked by anti-vaccinationists.”

Stockholm University and NIH scientist and MDPI Chief Editor Eric Freed, said, “Retraction of a paper does not require evidence of scientific misconduct,” calling for the study to be removed.

Professor Neus Visa, the head of the Wenner-Gren Institute where Hui Jiang worked, also pushed for the study’s retraction. Visa wrote in an email that the study’s authors “revealed deviations from good research practice that should be sufficient to justify an immediate retraction of the article, as pointed out by Dr. Freed.”

American Faith reported that another study also linked the COVID-19 vaccine to increasing cancer rates.

The study investigated death rates from neoplasms, or an abnormal growth of tissue that is a characteristic of cancer.

The authors explained that neoplasm deaths had a consistent trend prior to 2020, although there was a “rise in excess mortality from neoplasms reported as the underlying cause of death” beginning in 2021 and continued increasing through 2022.

2020 saw an increased mortality of 3.4%, 2021 with 9.2%, and 2022 with a 16.4% increased mortality.

Describing the surge in mortality, the authors wrote, “This indicates a break from the existing trend in which people with cancer were increasingly dying of another condition or reason.”

While deaths in 2020 could be attributed to the negative health effects of widespread lockdown, the deaths in 2021 and 2022 “could be adverse effects of the COVID-19 vaccines, which were rolled out from 2021 and prioritized for vulnerable groups such as those with cancer,” according to the study.