Claims that the COVID-19 vaccines will worsen illness in those who are exposed to the virus through antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) continue to circulate on social media. ADE occurs when antibodies produced by the immune system fail to prevent an infection and instead enhance the virus’ ability to enter cells and replicate. A recent article shared on several social media platforms falsely claims that there is growing evidence of ADE from COVID-19 vaccines, citing alleged increases in COVID-19-related deaths and VAERS reports. Although ADE is a real phenomenon that is considered when developing vaccines, it has not been shown to occur in association with any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines during animal studies, large clinical trials, or real-world administration.
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