No, US Supreme Court did not rule on COVID-19 vaccines

What was Claimed

The United States Supreme Court ruled COVID-19 vaccines are not vaccines.

Our Verdict

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.

Supreme Court claim
The claim is being spread by an Australian Facebook user.

“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.

Rulings for the US federal Supreme Court are available online. No decisions published in 2020, 2021, 2022 or 2023 relate to vaccine safety or Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

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.”

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr
Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr is a prominent critic of the COVID vaccines

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.”

Similar versions of the claim have been shared across social media, with examples seen here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

The Facebook post in question also claims COVID vaccines are “gene therapies” that cause irreparable damage. This has been debunked by AAP FactCheck and others here, here, here, here and here.

COVID vaccines do not constitute “gene therapy” as they do not alter a person’s genetic code.

The Verdict

The claim that the US Supreme Court ruled COVID vaccines are not really vaccines is false.

The US Supreme Court has not made any rulings about COVID vaccine safety.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr, who is alleged to have brought the case to the Supreme Court, says quotes attributed to him are fabricated.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

AAP FactCheck is an accredited member of the International Fact-Checking Network. To keep up with our latest fact checks, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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