Cureus Retracts “Peer-Reviewed” COVID-19 Vaccines Paper!

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It took them a while, but Cureus finally retracted the controversial “peer-reviewed” article on the lessons learned about COVID-19 mRNA vaccines!

Take a look at the controversial article, and find out what Cureus decided to retract it!

 

Cureus Publishes Controversial COVID-19 Vaccines Paper!

Anti-vaccine activists have been excitedly sharing what they call a “peer-reviewed” paper on the lessons learned about COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, while calling for the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to be removed.

The paper in question is called “COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines: Lessons Learned from the Registrational Trials and Global Vaccination Campaign” by Mead et. al. which includes anti-vaccine activists like Jessica Rose, Steve Kirsch, and Peter McCullough.

While it is being heralded as something new, the paper appears to be nothing more than a regurgitation of long-debunked claims about mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Unfortunately, it received a patina of legitimacy when it was published in the journal Cureus, with anti-vaccine activists gleefully pointing out that it was a “peer-reviewed” paper.

What many people don’t realise is that Cureus uses “an unusually fast” peer-review process of just “a few days”, and relies heavily on “post-publication peer review”, as its Editor in Chief John R. Adler explained to Retraction Watch in 2015:

Yes, Cureus has an unusually fast review process, which is an important part of the journal’s philosophy. We believe that post publication peer review, a focus of our journal through commenting and our unique SIQ process, is potentially a more powerful way to discern truth.

In other words – the pre-publication peer review appears to be superficial, and Cureus relies on the scientific community to peer-review the papers after publication. All that “post-publication” criticism appear to have resulted in its decision to (finally) retract this controversial article.

Recommended : COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Lessons Learned Fact Check!

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Lessons Learned Fact Check

 

Cureus Finally Retracts “Peer-Reviewed” COVID-19 Vaccines Paper!

On 19 February 2024, one of the article’s co-authors – Steve Kirsch, revealed (archive) that Cureus has decided to retract the article, citing a number of concerns.

Dear authors, 

I hope this email finds you well. I write regarding your article recently published in Cureus entitled, ‘COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines: Lessons Learned from the Registrational Trials and Global Vaccination Campaign’.

The list of concerns in the Cureus letter is frankly, too short. In my earlier article, I already listed a number of other concerns with the article:

  • unsubstantiated claims that the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials were too short
  • unsubstantiated claims that mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 were not proven safe or effective
  • misleading emphasis on absolute risk (AR) versus relative risk (RR) in understanding vaccine efficacy
  • misleading emphasis on unverified adverse events that were reported after vaccination.
  • unsubstantiated claims that 74% of deaths were “judged to have been caused by the COVID-19 mRNA products”

In any case, Cureus officially retracted this “peer-reviewed” article on 26 February 2024, with this statement:

The Editors-in-Chief have retracted this article. Following publication, concerns were raised regarding a number of claims made in this article. Upon further review, the Editors-in-Chief found that the conclusions of this narrative review are considered to be unreliable due to the concerns with the validity of some of the cited references that support the conclusions and a misrepresentation of the cited references and available data.

The authors disagree with this retraction.

One can’t help but wonder if this incident might persuade Cureus to spend a wee bit more time and effort on its peer-review process… or better still, don’t allow such articles to be labelled as “peer-reviewed” until they have at least passed proper, legitimate peer-review.

You can read more about those claims in my fact check article – COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Lessons Learned Fact Check!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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