On the last day of the year, we look back at the most popular articles that we posted to our website in 2021.
Increase in COVID-19 VAERS Reports Due To Reporting Requirements, Intense Scrutiny of Widely Given Vaccines
Expanded reporting requirements and intense scrutiny of the hundreds of millions administered COVID-19 vaccine doses have driven record reporting of potential side effects to one of the government’s vaccine safety monitoring systems. Social media posts, however, have misleadingly insinuated that the increase in reports means the vaccines are unsafe.
COVID-19 has killed more than 805,000 people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet a viral video on social media suggests the disease is the same as a “common cold.” COVID-19 is in the same family of some cold viruses, but its potential for a severe outcome — including death — is much higher than for the common cold.
Climate change and other human-caused factors continue to put many species at risk, according to conservation groups. But a social media post misleadingly claims polar bears, whales and koala populations are “recovered” or increasing. All three species remain critically endangered or vulnerable, the International Union for Conservation of Nature says.
The COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. were found to be safe and effective in clinical trials and real-world conditions. Dr. Anthony Fauci did not admit that “Covid Vaccines May Actually Make People ‘Worse,'” as a viral headline misleadingly claims. Fauci’s March 2020 remarks about testing future vaccines were taken out of context.
Many U.S. athletes have been vaccinated against COVID-19 without any adverse effects. But a conservative outlet has cited a list of supposedly vaccine-injured athletes to claim “there may be something wrong with the vaccine.” There’s no proof that the listed athletes — most of them are actually retired — were harmed by the vaccines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant people, and the World Health Organization says the vaccines are safe for them. Yet online articles cite a Canadian doctor who falsely claims that the vaccines have caused an unusually high number of stillbirths in Canadian hospitals. A hospital representative told us there was “no truth to this claim.”