Antivaxxers try to induce disgust and revulsion by stoking fear. Over the years, there have been many examples of this technique, such as trying to portray vaccines as laden with horrible toxins, ranting about the use of "monkey cells" or cells from other animals, and claiming that they contain "fetal tissue" Adams will always give me examples of the most over-the-top version of any antivax tropes that I would like to discuss. As long as they can be made to sound scary to people without much knowledge of chemistry, technologies used to make the vaccines, and basically anything about vaccines that can make vaccines are demonized by antivaxxers. The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, which was granted emergency use approval (EUA) earlier this month, was soon portrayed in a similar light, with special attention being paid to the moths cells used to produce theProtein

Antivaxxers versus mRNA- and adenovirus based COVID-19 vaccines

I will recount how the latest version of antivax rhetoric portraying vaccines as toxin-laden and gruesome had already been used against existing COVID-19 vaccines. The newness of the technologies used to develop them has been used by antivaxxers to spread FUD. Although introducing mRNA into muscle cells in order to provide them with a template to make a specificProtein, which stimulates an immune response that also targets the virus, is an old technology, dating back more than a decade This has led to the repurposing of old antivax fear mongering about how vaccines alter your DNA or are transhumanism to result in antivax claims about COVID-19 vaccines. Concerns were raised about the adenoviruses-based COVID-19 vaccines. The claims were made based on misunderstandings and misrepresentations of research and biology. The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is a good example of how misinformation can be believable to those who don't have a background in biology.

The FDA grants an EUA for Novavax, and antivaxxers react

Emergency use approval for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine was granted a few weeks ago. The article about the EUA was noted in this one.

The vaccine, a two-dose series administered three weeks apart, is manufactured using a lab-made spike protein produced in insect cells and an adjuvant obtained from the bark of a tree native to Chile, offering a different and older vaccine technology than is used in the messenger RNA vaccines and Johnson & Johnson shot. It is authorized for people ages 18 and older as a primary series, meaning the shot is intended for the roughly 10 percent of adults who have not yet received a Covid-19 vaccine.

Novavax executives have said they hope the shot will see uptake in individuals who have expressed hesitancy toward other Covid-19 vaccines or are allergic to components of the others’ ingredients.

“Today’s authorization offers adults in the United States who have not yet received a Covid-19 vaccine another option that meets the FDA’s rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement.

Novavax appears to be a decent vaccine, but I don't think it will be enough to convince vaccine-hesitants that it's safe. The history of the antivaccine movement should make it clear that this wouldn't happen. As anyone who has dealt with the antivaccine movement knows, it is unlikely that there will be many people who will be reassured enough by Novavax to bevaccinated.

I think everyone that’s already been vaccinated has been waiting for this option so we can all laugh at those that finding new excuses not to vaccinate

— disappointed by uk child vaccine policies (@simon_gordon_) July 14, 2022

He is correct that I am not going to be as sarcastic as he was. The introduction of Novavax will have an effect on vaccine hesitancy, but only if you're unaware of the history of the antivaccine movement.

I have already written about Novavax and the fear mongering that started about it, so those who follow my not-so-super- secret other blog will know that. The project was announced in 2020. I had an idea for a take that I should have included, so I am going to discuss that take here. I discovered more about the antivax misinformation that I wanted to include. There is also a lot more.

The news that Novavax had been granted an EUA broke quickly. Company executives and some public health officials had hoped that the vaccine would be more acceptable to the vaccine-hesitant than existing vaccines, but the reaction to two aspects of the vaccine showed that. This is something that needs to be fixed.

How Novavax is using baculovirus and moth cells

Before I discuss the antivaccine misinformation being used to stoke FUD about Novavax, I will first describe the technology that is used to make the vaccine. The official website of the National Vaccine Information Center has a link to an old Washington Post video about the Novavax vaccine. The video and link to the original WaPo article will be included.

According to the video, the use of moth cells is nothing more than another technique to produce large quantities of recombinant protein to be used in a vaccine, and that has been used for many years. If you have been reading this post, you know the answer.

The baculoviruses/insect cell expression system has been around for a long time. Baculoviruses, like adenoviruses, lentiviruses, and a lot of other viruses commonly used inmolecular biology, are a versatile system that can be used to express a wide range of different types of genes. It is mainly used to induce insect cells to produce a certain type of protein, similar to the way other viruses do. It used to be difficult to engineer the Baculoviruses-insect cell systems, but thanks to the advancement of technology, it is now possible to use them. Baculoviruses systems are used in research for a variety of purposes, including cell-based assays, gene function studies, and the production of recombinant genes. One of the advantages of baculoviruses and insect cells is that they allow for the generation of a much lower temperature version of the molecule. In mammals and insects, cells are usually grown at 37C and 27C, respectively.

This is how Novavax scientists make their vaccines.

  1. Scientists selected the desired genes that code for the desired antigen, in this case as for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
  2. They then put the genes into a baculovirus, an insect virus.
  3. The baculovirus infects moth cells and replicates inside them.
  4. These moth cells manufacture lots of spike protein.
  5. The spike protein is then extracted and purified for use in the Novavax vaccine.

One notes that the baculoviruses/insect cell expression systems have been used in the past to make the vaccine. A review article from 2006 shows the different ways in which baculoviruses can be used to make vaccines.


The flow chart shows four different ways to make a vaccine based on your favorite genes. The process begins with selection and amplification of YFG, followed by cloning into the appropriate baculoviruses, and finally, production in insect cells.

The baculoviruses expression system is versatile, which is why it has been used to make vaccines for over 20 years. One disadvantage is that it doesn't always attach the right sugars to glycoproteins, but in many cases it can be an excellent choice to use. In the case being discussed, Novavax scientists used a baculoviruses toinfecting ovary cells from the fall armyworm to make large quantities of vaccine. The cell line used with the baculoviruses system is called Sf9 because it's named after the species. The cell line has been around since the 70s.

Novavax: Moth cells and DNA!

The misinformation about Novavax is based on the idea that the baculoviruses/Sf9 expression system can cause the vaccine to be contaminated. After the announcement of the EUA for Novavax it didn't take long for me to start seeing these types of posts.

so novavax uses GE moth cells which produce antibodies and will be better tolerated, but what are they fed? mRNA so not making real viral antibodies (no-one has been able to do that) you also get genetically engineered cell products but no passive immunity

— jay tay science (@JTayScience) July 16, 2022

He claimed that Novavax is "genetically engineered" and that it won't result in the production of "real viral antibodies"

Some were more critical.


Moth DNA?🤮

The date is July 15, 2022.

I will conclude my discussion of the moth DNA angle by comparing it to an example I wrote about a decade ago. Let's go on to this one.

That video is...quite something. The blurb for the video suggests that Dr. Jane Ruby doesn't know the difference between the two. Also, what's the matter? Novavax is referred to as a deadly moth DNA spikeProtein. How did she do that? Do you want to throw a bunch of words into a blender? Dr. Ruby was once mentioned as part of a group of speakers who were targeting the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn with misinformation. She's one of the main sources of the myth that COVID-19 vaccines cause self-assembling clot with "nanowires" that kill.

I don't know who Dr. Ruby is. She has a claim on her website.

Dr. Jane Ruby is a medical professional and a pharmaceutical drug development expert with over 20 years of experience in regulatory processes for drug approval with the FDA and the EMA. She is also a published international health economist who has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows across America. Dr. Ruby worked on the human research studies to launch some of the most famous compounds in the world in Depression, Alzheimer’s disease, Addiction, and Cardio-pulmonary diseases.

If that is true, where did Dr. Ruby end up in the video? Given the long and depressing list of physicians who have become COVID-19 misinformation grifters since the Pandemic started, it is no wonder that the question is a futile one.

I couldn't get through the entire 18 minutes of Dr. Ruby's video because it was so repetitive, and it hurt my brain, which has been dealing with nonsense like this for 25 years. In the beginning of the video, Dr. Ruby mentions that she gets a lot of questions about Novavax from people who don't want to take a vaccine that isn't based on an animal's genes. This would seem to support the idea that Novavax might be able to convince people to accept an old school vaccine. That doesn't happen. Dr. Ruby said, "Oh, hell no!" She starts by saying that Novavax is no more a vaccine than the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, which was a lie.

I was curious as to how someone claiming to know about COVID-19 could say something like that. I continued to watch. This illustration is used to explain what she means. I took a picture of something.

It's possible to see. It's possible to see. There is a baculoviruses spikeProtein in the moth cells. Provaccine-loving fascists!

I facedpalming. Dr. Ruby went on and on about how Novavax is using synthetic codes to make billions of copies of the toxic spike protein, and she even used the term "in silico" to describe it. This explanation is technically correct, but it confuses the use of a baculoviruses containing the specific cDNA code to serve as the template for moth cells to make spikeprotein, which is later isolated, isolated, and used to make a more traditional vaccine, and the use of a baculoviruses It isn't as though the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines involve harvesting cells from your deltoid muscle and isolating the spikeprotein being made by them because of the mRNA vaccine. There are only two possible explanations. Either Dr. Ruby is lying or she is deeply ignorant of some very basic biology that was basic three decades ago when I first started studying it. You have to take your pick. I will concede that the former is doable.

You still have a problem with a "genetic code that is going to embedded in your cells and God knows what it's going to create from the moths", Dr. Ruby says, because the spikeProtein is isolated with "moth DNA" that is included in the nanoparticles.

Dr. Ruby is not limited to that. The people rendered infertile by Novavax will be the lucky ones. What's the reason? She should explain that I should get hazard pay for taking the time to read this passage.

If you are lucky enough to conceive—and this goes for all of these shots—the next generation through recombination of mom and dad’s genetic material can have offspring that will suffer and be damaged and freak—freak manifestations. We don’t even know what those are going to look like yet. So stop looking at Novavax as a possible safer alternative. To what? To tyranny? To a sick, psychopathic cabal that wants to damage God-given DNA forever and say, “Wooo, we’re better than God”?

She expands on this theme in Ask Dr. Jane, but I will spare you the pain. Even though it was only 12 minutes long, I couldn't watch it because it was so bad.

The idea of purebloods like the ones in the Harry Potter novels, who are untainted by magic, is what this is all about. A huge part of alternative medicine is based on the idea that toxins cause most, if not all, disease. In antivax circles, the concept is so pervasive that some people prefer death overcontamination. Del Bigtree came dangerously close to death from bleeding hemorrhoids because he refused to receive a blood donation. I don't think you're right. If you don't think I'm right, read the details.

The idea of purity versuscontamination has a lot to do with the idea that natural immunity to a disease can be so infectious that it can spread. Dr. Ruby is portraying the vaccines as a way to set humans up as better than God.

Dr. Ruby claims that Novavax doesn't make it safer and that it doesn't make it better than mRNA vaccines, in a facepalm-worth bit. To Dr. Ruby, Novavax is a poison that is designed to change your genes forever. She insists that she is not trying to scare you out of taking any more shots.

She moves on to the next stage.

“Deadly treebark toxins”

Like Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Dr. Ruby complains about the use oflipid particles in the vaccine. She refers to the use of tree bark toxins as an adjuvant, but it turns out that the Novavax vaccine uses a different type of adjuvant. There is a theme about Novavax in the area. The Children's Health Defense claims that Novavax's "Matrix-M" is harmful.

Nevertheless, in pre-COVID-19 studies of experimental vaccines containing Novavax’s Matrix-M, researchers waxed enthusiastic about the nanoparticle-based adjuvant’s “significant” and “potent” action — including its strong “immunostimulatory properties” even without any accompanying antigen.

And, where nanoparticles are concerned, the Novavax COVID-19 shot actually delivers a double whammy, combining Matrix-M with genetically engineered spike protein nanoparticles.

As Novavax explains it (for some reason putting the word “adjuvant” in quotes), “The spike protein is the ‘signal,’ but … we want your immune system to hear that signal loud and clear [and] that signal boost comes from our Matrix-M ‘adjuvant.’”

A study from a decade ago shows Matrix-M's immunostimulatory properties. Adjuvants have been used for a long time to increase the immune response in a vaccine, and the most common one is aluminum. All of us now trust aluminum adjuvants. It's just kidding. They don't like aluminum as much as they dislike mRNA in vaccines.

The bit about tree bark came from somewhere. The bark of the soapbark tree can be used to make soap.

This study noted as much as possible.

Saponins, particularly those obtained from Quillaja saponaria Molina, are known potent adjuvants and Quillaja saponins (QS) have for long been used in animal vaccines. Saponin-based adjuvants can be formulated in different ways; in free form [2], with aluminium hydroxide [3], in ISCOMs (immunostimulating complex) [4] or in ISCOM-Matrix/Matrix structures [5]. QS constitute a heterogeneous mixture of related but different chemical structures with various immunostimulatory activities, safety profiles and particle forming properties. By purification of the QS raw material, distinctive fractions with different characteristics can be defined.

The ISCOM, a potent adjuvant formulation first described in 1984 by Morein and co-workers [4], consist of stable complexes composed of saponin, cholesterol, phospholipid and incorporated antigen(s). The hallmarks of the ISCOM technology are the dose-sparing potential [6], induction of high and long-lasting antibody titers and potent T cell responses [7]. However, later it was shown that antigen incorporation is not critical for these immune properties. Antigen and empty ISCOMs i.e. ISCOM-Matrix/Matrix could simply be mixed with sustained vaccine efficacy [5]. In this study we use a novel adjuvant formulation based on two different Matrix particles made from two separate purified fractions of saponins, yielding Matrix-A™ and Matrix-C™ [8]. These Matrix particles, approximately 40 nm large, are subsequently mixed at defined ratios to get the Matrix-M™ adjuvant.

You have it. The bad news is the nanoparticles. The antivaxxers fear mongered about the use of the lipid nanoparticles in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. It's nothing more than the "toxins" ploy reborn and retooled for COVID-19 vaccines, sometimes with some truly off- the-wall versions. The antivax attacks on the Novavax COVID-19 are very predictable due to the fact that Matrix-M is a form of lipid nanoparticles. Antivaxxers, being all about natural immunity and natural medicine, would be more accepting of an adjuvant that is a natural product.

Even though RFK Jr. is spreading the same misinformation about Matrix-M, Dr. Ruby is still saying the same things. The claim that vaccines cause diseases is an old antivax trope. RFK Jr. refers to antiphospholipid syndrome, an autoimmune disorder characterized by recurring blood clot and fetal loss. If you can call it that, I might have to address this in more detail in the future. Yehuda Shoenfeld and ASIA are examples of how the false claim that vaccines cause a massive increase in incidence of autoimmune disease started and persists.

Even though the Novavax vaccine is different from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, it is still likely to cause infertility.

I began to wonder who Dr. Ruby was after suffering through her video. I didn't pay much attention to this when I wrote about it over at my other site. I assumed that she was just a doctor who used to work for a pharmaceutical company. I was wrong to think that she is a doctor. I think that's the point of her shtick.

Who is “Dr. Ruby”?

There is a search of PubMed for Dr. Ruby and it shows that she worked at a company called Medical Affairs. She has 23 publications dating back to the 1990s, but most of them seem to be about outcomes of opiate treatment or healthcare costs, not clinical trials of new drugs. It isn't reflected in her record if she did such work. She worked for other pharmaceutical companies as well as Allergan, which is now called Allergan. She got a masters degree in nursing from the University of Rochester and was a nurse before she became a doctor. Don't get me wrong! NPs are my favorite. They have been attacked by my fellow physicians many times. It appears that Dr. Ruby doesn't have a degree in nursing. She has a PhD in philosophy and an EdD in education from the University of Rochester. One can't help but conclude that Dr. Ruby is trying to convince the public that she is a doctor. Her audience might think she is a doctor. If her CV is any indication, she hasn't practiced nursing for over 20 years.

She has her own show hosted on the Stew Peters Network, as well as her position as President at Ruby Health consulting, and she made the video above. A cursory look at the show shows that it is a full-on right wing conspiracy show. Don't think I'm telling the truth? Take a look at the list of videos for yourself. Her sponsors include a lot of companies that market quackery and supplements, as well as her own line of products.

One of the hallmarks of science denial is fake experts with inflated credentials. It appears that Ruby has not practiced nursing, advanced practice or anything like that in over two decades, but there is no evidence that she has any special expertise in infectious disease.

Hercredentials do appear to be more than adequate to provide a veneer of scientific expertise good enough to fool her audience.

It’s always the vaccines. Always.

The reaction to Novavax is not a surprise to anyone who has been fighting antivaccine misinformation. It was obvious that the vaccine would be portrayed as dirty, foreign, and contaminated by the antivaxers. The idea that the animal used in the process of making vaccines has been around for a long time, as shown in this classic cartoon from the early 1800s.

The Cow-Pock

The idea that vaccines can permanently alter humans has been around for a while. The library of congress prints and photographs division has a color film copy transparency.

The NVIC article cited the WaPo article with the video about the use of moth cells. Pam was one of the commenters in the comments.

I am not an entomologist but I do garden a lot and see many moths. Since the video only talked about proteins and mRNA, I wanted to know more about what moths can do to a human in general. Moths are of the paraphyletic group meaning many have a common ancestor. Does that suggest what affects one species genetically may affect other species? Not sure. Did they say what species of moth they used in the Novavax? I did some online research and found some moth caterpillar species cause lepidopterism (caterpillar dermatitis) if touched. Lymantria dispar, the spongy moth (has black and red spots in caterpillar stage) carries the NPV (spongy moth virus). Could this NPV make its way into moth vaccines? Would make a great sci-fi novel plot–every vaccinated person grows antennae and makes coccoons. The comment about “Mothman cometh” brought all sorts of sci-fi musings to mind. Have not gotten a vaccine since 2006 and won’t be wanting ANY soon. Adjuvants are on my no-list since the allergist said this may be what I react badly to when getting a vaccine. Being out in natural settings with Nature is wonderful. Science should stop messing with the genetic make-up of any living being. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

Vincent Price in

In the movie The Fly, there is a man.

Jeff Goldblum in

Jeff Goldbug is in a remake. Both Price and Goldblum agree.

Is Pam making fun of Novavax? I think she was joking. She is repeating an old antivax idea that vaccines change your essence to be more like the vaccine. The cow pox vaccine was used in the 1800s to protect against the disease. Do you think now is the right time? It's insects. The NVIC article is a resurrection of the same fear mongering that had been going on since the discovery of the Baculoviruses that were to be used to make Novavax.

There are more than one example. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, antivaxxers made a big deal out of the use of monkey cells to make the oral polio vaccine, which Mike Adams described as vaccines "routine." Even though there is no good evidence that there was an increase in cancer because the vaccine was contaminated, it is true that the vaccine was contaminated.

The claim that Novavax will corrupt your genes to the point that your children will be freaks is less clear. The claim that the Novavax vaccine will cause havoc in your body is very much of a piece with the old antivax claims that the vaccine can cause permanent damage to your genes. There is no good evidence that this actually happens, as the amount of the human immunodeficiency virus in the vaccine is very small.

The idea that human DNA from the cell lines could get into cells in the central nervous system was one of the most popular antivax mechanisms. The author of the review article that proposed this idea was quoted by Sharyl Attkisson, who went on to become an all-purpose conspiracy theorist.

Why could human DNA potentially cause brain damage? The way Ratajczak explained it to me: “Because it’s human DNA and recipients are humans, there’s homologous recombinaltion tiniker. That DNA is incorporated into the host DNA. Now it’s changed, altered self and body kills it. Where is this most expressed? The neurons of the brain. Now you have body killing the brain cells and it’s an ongoing inflammation. It doesn’t stop, it continues through the life of that individual.”

The process by which very similar pieces of DNA can integrate themselves into a genomes will never be funny to me. Fear mongering about COVID-19 vaccines has been applied to the idea that it is a bad idea. It is the same idea that those who oppose antivax misinformation 11 years later have.

There are some things that can be used. It was obvious that any adjuvant used in a COVID-19 vaccine would be used to portray it as horrible sludge that will kill you or cause autoimmune disease. Antivaxxers have a long history of calling aluminum a poison that kills.

Fear mongering about vaccine ingredients is just a small part of a larger antivaccine narrative. You wouldn't be crazy to inject vaccines into your body due to the horrible toxins and terrible substances they contain. Evidence continues to accumulate that there is no link between the mercury in the vaccine and the increase in the number of people with the neurological disorder. It was a chemical. The amount of vaccine that the body makes is much smaller than the small amount that the body makes. There is a claim that vaccines have anti-freeze in them. There isn't The claim was based on the fact that there was confusion between the two compounds. It has been around a long time.

I think I have described enough examples. You understand the concept. The platform used to make the vaccine is the most important thing for antivaxxers. They will shift the goalposts if they can prove that one of these is safe. You could make a vaccine that has nothing to do with the antigen or the saline, and antivaxers would find a way to point the finger at the vaccine. The vaccine frightens antivaxxers. Antivaxxers find window dressing to be a good excuse to justify their fears. Those who are prone to distrustpharmaceutical companies, doctors, drugs, and all that is associated with them are the ones who are most likely to be affected by those fears.

We don't have a lot of choice, but to play Whac-A-Mole to refute fear mongering about individual vaccine ingredients, but we shouldn't forget that these are just distracts from the real issue. Vaccines are injected "unnaturally" into the body according to a common narrative. The narrative is very effective at causing revulsion. It is the narrative that we need to overcome more than the ridiculous claims that people are turned into insects. It doesn't matter if it's a vaccine or not. It doesn't matter if the antigen is produced by a single injection or multiple injections. It's the vaccine. The vaccines have always been present. The vaccines will always be the center of attention.

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