PolitiFact FL: State has not taken steps to ban COVID-19 vaccines
A July 17 Instagram post claimed Florida is poised to prohibit COVID-19 vaccines because they are bioweapons.
"Florida to ban mRNA vaccines as credible evidence of biological weapons," said the image of a tweet shared in the post.
The claim is based on the latest instance of county Republican Party leaders in Florida claiming that the vaccines are bioweapons and calling for them to be banned.
Florida state officials have not moved to enact such a ban.
The television version of the report said Republican Party leaders in Brevard County, Florida, would vote to send a letter to GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature. The letter asked the officials to ban mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and claimed that the vaccines are a "biological weapon."
An updated version of the story on the station’s website said the county party’s executive committee approved sending the letter.
At least eight local Republican parties in Florida have made the claim about the vaccines and called for them to be banned.
The Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines. The m in mRNA stands for messenger, and the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 involve injecting genetic material into cells that produce coronavirus proteins that then trigger an immune response, teaching the body how to fight off a real COVID-19 infection.
More than 672 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States and serious health effects linked to them are rare, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In May, DeSantis signed bills prohibiting mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
But with no evidence that Florida state officials have announced any action to ban the vaccines themselves, we rate the post False.
- Instagram, post, July 17, 2023
- Archive.is, July 17, 2023 tweet
- WPEC-TV, "County GOP: COVID-19 vaccine is a bioweapon," July 13, 2023
- Tampa Bay Times, "Hillsborough GOP: COVID vaccines a ‘biological weapon,’" June 17, 2023
- Fox News, "Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bills prohibiting vaccine, mask mandates in state," May 11, 2023
- Snopes, "Did the Lee County, Florida, GOP Pass a Proposal To Ban COVID-19 Vaccines?", Feb. 23, 2023