Influenza cases decreased during the first years of the pandemic, likely because of measures adopted to stop the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. In this video, FactCheck.org teamed up with Factchequeado to debunk a viral post that falsely implied the decrease in flu cases meant that COVID-19 was a hoax.
Public health organizations have explained that the reason there were far fewer cases of the flu in 2020 and 2021 was likely due to measures adopted to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, such as handwashing and social distancing. But a post on social media has spread the false claim that the dip in flu cases suggests that COVID-19 was a hoax.
Several European countries have reported an early spike of group A strep infections, mostly among children, including cases of rare but deadly bacterial infections. There is no evidence the increase is being caused by nasal spray flu vaccines, as social media posts baselessly suggest. Flu vaccination may even indirectly prevent strep A.
A viral claim on Facebook erroneously tells users that “you will test positive” for COVID-19 if “you’ve gotten flu shots during the past ten years.” Vaccine and infectious disease experts told us that’s false, and the Food and Drug Administration says this hasn’t been observed in any authorized tests.
President Donald Trump cast doubt on the value of influenza vaccines, saying he only got a flu shot because he was required to as president. “I don’t know if I should have. Who knows?” But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says each year the vaccine saves thousands of lives and prevents tens of thousands of hospitalizations.