Much controversy has arisen in Mexico over the distribution of “air vaccines” following a viral video of a nurse pretending to inoculate an elderly man against coronavirus while merely inserting an empty syringe into his arm, leading to uneasiness throughout the country about the purported reality of Mexico’s vaccination process. 

Though the empty vaccine appeared to be an isolated incident, and the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) fired the nurse involved, many elderly adults remain concerned as to whether they actually received a real dose of the covid-19 vaccine.

Some went so far as to take an antigen test to see if they tested positive for antibodies against the virus, leading to a lot of hullabaloo on social media following an elderly woman testing negative for antibodies after her vaccination, though that does not mean she too received an air vaccination.

“I get many questions as a result of the ‘air vaccinations,’ wanting to know if there is a way to verify that a person has received the vaccine and has been immunized. The answer is not simple, but I will try to explain,” said Laurie Ann Ximénez-Fyvie, a doctor of medical sciences at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

“The general answer is, no. With the antibody tests available today, it is not possible to accurately measure the immune response after vaccination, unless the vaccine received was an inactivated virus such as Sinovac’s.”

Vaccines based off of mRNA, like Pfizer and Moderna, would not show up on an antigen test, perhaps leading to the negative result of the aforementioned elderly woman who made a buzz on Twitter.

Due to this fact, it is very difficult to determine if someone received a real or “air vaccine,” but as the IMSS assured, it was likely an isolated incident that no one should be overly concerned about.

“The good news is that the science on covid-19 is advancing by leaps and bounds. Surely, the evidence that can tell us who generates immunological protection or not after vaccination will be available soon,” said the UNAM expert. 

…April 12, 2021


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