Since his diagnosis in 1991, NBA player Magic Johnson has repeatedly said he contracted HIV through sexual transmission. But a viral social media post by a spreader of vaccine misinformation falsely claims that Johnson was exposed to the virus from a hepatitis B vaccine.
A rigorous vaccine safety monitoring system has shown that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and only rarely have serious side effects. But an article shared on social media falsely says that CDC data show more than 18 million people “were injured so badly” by a Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine “that they had to go to the hospital.”
The state of Florida recently announced that it was no longer recommending that younger males receive mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, based on an unpublished analysis that purportedly found an increased risk of cardiac-related death following vaccination. But experts who specialize in the unique method used in the analysis say it was not properly done — and even if it had been, the findings would not mean that individuals should not get vaccinated.
Denmark announced a plan for its fall COVID-19 vaccination drive, saying it will offer omicron-specific booster shots to high-risk individuals, including everyone 50 and over. But U.S.-based misinformation peddlers misleadingly suggest that means the shots are unsafe for those under 50. The Danish Health Authority said that is a misinterpretation.
A Pfizer document recently released by the Food and Drug Administration describes adverse events reported following vaccination and attests to the continued safety of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine. A popular video and other online posts, however, incorrectly imply that the vaccine caused the events.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Pfizer tweeted in February about the dangers of blood clots in veins, which are relatively common and affect as many as 900,000 Americans each year. A story shared on social media, however, misleadingly linked those public health reminders to the COVID-19 vaccines.
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.