Federal vaccine monitoring systems have identified no safety concerns with the COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant people. Preliminary Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show that miscarriage is not more frequent than expected in vaccinated people. Online posts, however, falsely contend that such data, as reported in a CDC publication, show an 82% miscarriage rate.
The COVID-19 vaccines have been shown in trials and real-world application to be safe and effective. But a paper shared widely online claimed that vaccines cause two deaths for every three lives saved. Experts say the analysis misinterpreted data and was flawed — and it has now been retracted by the journal that published it.
Randomized controlled trials — the highest standard of evidence — have found that hydroxychloroquine isn’t beneficial in treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Yet social media posts are claiming the drug works, and conservative outlets have touted an unpublished, and much-criticized, observational study as evidence of the drug’s effectiveness.
Thousands of pages of redacted emails to and from Dr. Anthony Fauci are now publicly available, thanks to journalists’ Freedom of Information Act requests. Some of those messages have been distorted in viral posts, particularly about face masks, the origins of the coronavirus and the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.
A viral video features a doctor making dubious claims about COVID-19 vaccines and treatments at a forum hosted by Idaho’s lieutenant governor. Dr. Ryan Cole claims mRNA vaccines cause cancer and autoimmune diseases, but the lead author of the paper on which Cole based that claim told us there is no evidence mRNA vaccines cause those ailments.
The unprecedented speed of the COVID-19 vaccines was due to multiple factors.
Candidates for an mRNA vaccine — the technology used for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines — can be quickly designed once scientists know the genetic sequence of the virus and which protein to target. Researchers already knew from past experience with SARS and MERS, which are other diseases caused by coronaviruses, that the spike protein the virus uses to enter cells was likely the right one.