In recent weeks, anti-vaccine social media users have been spreading a theory that those who have the COVID-19 vaccine will turn into the zombies seen in I Am Legend. This is, of course, absolutely nonsense based on zero science, but the theory caught enough traction that one of the movie’s writers responded on social media. However, the theory has caught so much traction that several people are actively refusing the vaccine as they believe it will turn them into zombies.
I Am Legend’s plot involved a failed attempt to re-engineer measles to cure cancer. This kills 99% of the world’s population. The NY Times recently reported on employee vaccination efforts, with one employee stating: “she was concerned because she thought a vaccine had caused the characters in the film I Am Legend to turn into zombies.”
I Am Legend writer steps in
I Am Legend writer Akiva Goldsman, has clearly had enough online nonsense surrounding the film. He stepped in providing his input on the matter. Responding to someone online who had pasted the New York Time article, Goldsman wrote: “Oh. My. God. It’s a movie. I made that up. It’s. Not. Real.”
Misinformation has spread rapidly throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with many using internet memes and social media posts as a reason not to seek the vaccine. Interestingly, misinformation of this nature has also been a problem during other moments of cultural importance, including last year’s election and the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom.
Other Social media posts claimed I Am Legend was set in 2021. And that “the sickness didn’t make the zombies, the vaccination did”. However, in reality, I Am Legend took place in 2012, seven years before the start of the coronavirus outbreak. In addition, other memes shared online used The Matrix and Children Of Men to spread misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine.