FACT CHECK: Did Scotland Stop Publishing COVID-19 Data Because It Shows The Vaccinated Are Developing AIDS?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Public Health Scotland (PHS) will no longer publish COVID-19 data due to a link between the COVID-19 vaccine and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Verdict: False

PHS said its weekly data releases were ceased due to rampant misinformation. There is no proven link between COVID-19 vaccines and AIDS and no evidence that the cessation of data from PHS was due to any such link.

Fact Check:

PHS announced Feb. 16 in its COVID-19 & Winter Statistical Report that it would no longer be releasing weekly reports of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status. It had been publishing this data on a weekly basis since July 2021, according to the report.

A post shared on Facebook claims this is because the data “shows the Fully Vaccinated are developing AIDS.” (RELATED: No, COVID-19 Vaccines Do Not Cause Recipients To Develop HIV)

AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV and results in severe damage to the immune system that makes the host more susceptible to catching infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There is no evidence that PHS ceased the release of COVID-19 data because it showed a link between COVID-19 vaccines and AIDS. The notion that the two are related has been debunked by Check Your Fact and other fact check outlets such as Full Fact and PolitiFact. The department’s Feb. 16 report states the cessation was due to “the increasing risk of misinterpretation from growing complexities” of the COVID-19 pandemic. It mentions nothing about HIV or AIDS.

“Recent changes in testing behaviour and policies, including the fact that asymptomatic people no longer need a COVID-19 PCR test, limits our ability to robustly identify and monitor COVID-19 cases by vaccination status,” explains the report. “This means we cannot confidently compare recent case trends to historical data.”

“The data provided in the COVID-19 & Winter Statistical Report does not support the claim that there is a correlation between the COVID-19 vaccine and developing HIV/AIDS,” said Vivienne Wilson, a spokesperson for PHS, in an email to Check Your Fact.

The Facebook claim appears to have originated with a Feb. 18 article published by The Exposé, an independent news outlet that describes itself as an alternative to the “lying mainstream media,” according to its “about us” page. The article claims that the vaccine prompts a “negative immune system performance,” which in turn “implies the fully vaccinated are developing Covid-19 vaccine induced Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (VAIDS).”

Dr. Satya Dandekar, the chairperson for the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California Davis, previously told Check Your Fact in September 2021 that the “Coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is a very different virus from HIV,” and that the spike protein is “completely different” from an HIV glycoprotein.

The CDC has stated COVID-19 vaccines are “safe and effective” and has encouraged those with diagnosed and underlying medical conditions to get vaccinated in order to limit the severity of infection should they test positive.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter