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Fact Check: Is the CDC Advocating for a Hybrid ‘CovidPox’ Vaccine?
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Fact Check: Is the CDC Advocating for a Hybrid ‘CovidPox’ Vaccine?


An article from Real Raw News, a self-described “independent publisher” that “explores content often avoided by the mainstream media,” claims: “CDC Pushes for Hybrid ‘CovidPox’ Vaccine.” The article claims that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky is “pushing forth a new agenda that could sicken or kill even more millions of gullible Americans—she has advocated for the creation of a ‘CovidPox’ vaccine, a hybrid drug that, she says, will inoculate citizens against both emerging strains of Covid and Monkeypox.”

The article further says that “CDC whistleblowers have told Real Raw News that Walensky, ostensibly at the request of HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, has in recent days held talks with Pfizer and Danish pharmaceutical manufacturer Bavarian Nordic A/S. She had asked them whether they could jointly research the viability of an amalgamized vaccine because ‘Americans aren’t smart. They like fewer rather than more vaccines.’”

These are false claims.

In an email to The Dispatch Fact Check, Jason McDonald, a spokesman for Walensky, said: “The premise of this story is preposterous.” McDonald also addressed the alleged meeting between “Pfizer and Danish pharmaceutical manufacturer Bavarian Nordic A/S,” saying that “no such meeting ever occurred.”

The preferred vaccine against monkeypox, according to the CDC, is JYNNEOS, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is made by Bavarian Nordic. On August 9, 2022, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the JYNNEOS vaccine “to allow healthcare providers to use the vaccine by intradermal injection for individuals 18 years of age and older who are determined to be at high risk for monkeypox infection.” As an alternative to JYNNEOS, the CDC recommends the ACAM2000 vaccine, which is an FDA licensed smallpox vaccine and is manufactured by Emergent Product Development Gaithersburg

At an August 18 White House press briefing Walensky, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and White House monkeypox response coordinator, Bob Fenton, spoke about the Biden administration’s response to the monkeybreak outbreak, but made no mention of plans for a “hybrid ‘CovidPox’ vaccine.” Instead, Fenton began the briefing by announcing that “FDA and CDC acted to allow JYNNEOS vaccine to be administered intradermally, increasing the number of doses in each vial of vaccine by up to fivefold.

During that same briefing Walensky spoke about intradermal administration of the JYNNEOS vaccine, noting that: “intradermal administration is not a new vaccination method.” She added: “Data suggests that the vaccine administration intradermally will produce the same immune response as the standard dose administered subcutaneously.”

During an investor call earlier this month, Moderna President Stephen Hoge said that Moderna was beginning research into creating a monkeypox vaccine. As reported by ABC News, Hoge said that the company hasn’t made a decision on whether it would move forward with creating this vaccine or not. But even though there have been reports of Moderna possibly creating a monkeypox vaccine, there is no evidence of the creation of a “hybrid drug.”

Furthermore, Real Raw News, as we have reported, has a history of promoting false and conspiratorial stories of arrests, executions, and false claims about the COVID-19 vaccine

Real Raw News also has a disclaimer on its website that reads: “Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on [sic] legal counsel.”

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Khaya Himmelman

Khaya Himmelman is a fact checker for The Dispatch. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Barnard College.