What was Claimed
The United States Supreme Court ruled COVID-19 vaccines are not vaccines.
False. The US Supreme Court has made no such ruling.
Rumours are circulating on social media that the United States Supreme Court has ruled COVID-19 vaccines are not really vaccines.
This is false. The US Supreme Court has not made any rulings on COVID vaccines.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr, the person claimed to have won the court case, says quotes about the ruling attributed to him have been made up. The claim was made in a Facebook post (archived here) published by an Australian user on October 25.
“Ruling of the United States Supreme Court: Covid vaccines are NOT vaccines. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. won his lawsuit against all pharmaceutical lobbyists,” the post read.
“In its decision, the Supreme Court confirms that the damage caused by Covid mRNA gene therapies is IRREPARABLE. As the Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States, there are no further appeals and all avenues of appeal have been exhausted.”
The post includes a link to a Fox News story as evidence to support the claim.
However, the Fox News article was published on October 25, 2022 - a full year before the Facebook post in question - and did not mention anything about the alleged Supreme Court ruling in question.
Instead, the article refers to a 2022 New York State Supreme Court decision about a group of 16 New York City sanitation workers who were fired for not complying with the state’s COVID vaccination mandate.
Judge Ralph Porzio ordered the workers to be reinstated and receive back pay.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr, a prominent anti-vaccine advocate who plans to run as an independent US presidential candidate in 2024 - has disassociated himself from the claim. “The quote is fabricated,” he told US-based news service Associated Press.
“Clearly somebody made it up and is promoting it because the same quote keeps coming back, no matter how many times I deny it.”
AAP FactCheck has previously addressed similar claims that COVID vaccines aren’t really vaccines.
Experts said there was no official legal or medical definition but vaccines are qualified by their ability to boost immunity.
“There is no requirement for any vaccine to confer full immunity or to prevent transmission,” a representative for the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity told AAP FactCheck in March 2023.
“There is neither a legal nor medical basis to invalidate the term vaccine for licensed COVID vaccines.”
COVID vaccines do not constitute “gene therapy” as they do not alter a person’s genetic code.