No, COVID-19 vaccines do not violate the Nuremberg Code

Vaccines are safe and effective, experts say

FILE - In this June 14, 2021, file photo, a vital of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that is being administered for flight attendants of Japan Airlines at Haneda Airport as the airline company began its workplace vaccination, in Tokyo. Moderna Inc. and its Japanese partner are recalling more than 1 million doses of the U.S. drug maker's coronavirus vaccine after confirming that contamination reported was tiny particles of stainless steel. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)
FILE - In this June 14, 2021, file photo, a vital of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that is being administered for flight attendants of Japan Airlines at Haneda Airport as the airline company began its workplace vaccination, in Tokyo. Moderna Inc. and its Japanese partner are recalling more than 1 million doses of the U.S. drug maker's coronavirus vaccine after confirming that contamination reported was tiny particles of stainless steel. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

It’s a claim popping up all over social media. Several viral posts claim mandating COVID-19 vaccinations is a violation of “the Nuremberg Code.”

The biggest post, posted on Aug. 16, showed a man driving up to a Walmart, claiming he was going to “present documents to the pharmacist, letting them know what they are doing is crimes against humanity and what they are doing is a violation of the Nuremberg Code, and if they do not stand down immediately, then they could be executed.”

The man, identified as Christopher Key, is a known anti-vaccine advocate and has a history of making discredited medical claims, the Washington Post reports.

Additionally, the Nuremberg Code has nothing to do with COVID-19 vaccines. The “Code” dates back to after World War II. It’s a set of medical ethics that led to the prosecution and execution of several Nazi doctors who carried out experiments on victims in concentration camps.

Experts say COVID-19 vaccines don’t apply to this set of ethics because the vaccines are not experimental. Vaccines are authorized for emergency use and have gone through extensive clinical trials. The FDA recently fully approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Lastly, the Nuremberg Code has not been adopted as law in the United States. Even if it were applicable, it wouldn’t be legally enforceable in America.

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Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.